SEOUL, Aug. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Saturday placed stricter social distancing guidelines on the greater Seoul area after daily new COVID-19 cases in the country reached a five-month high of 166, as the highly infectious disease is spreading at an alarming rate.
The decision to raise the social distancing plan in Seoul and the Gyeonggi region up one notch to Level 2 was reached at a pan-governmental COVID-19 meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, chaired by Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun.
The move comes after the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported that new daily coronavirus cases reached 166 as of midnight Friday, raising the total caseload to 15,039.
The number of new cases is the highest tallied since March 11, when the country reported 242 new daily infections during the height of a mass outbreak in Daegu and a cluster originating from a call center building in Seoul.
Of the new cases, 155 were of local transmissions. The number of daily infections reached triple digits for the second straight day.