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New infections over 2,400 for 2nd day amid eased virus curbs

10:04 November 04, 2021

SEOUL, Nov. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed above 2,400 for the second consecutive day Thursday as the country relaxed its virus restrictions nationwide in line with its "living with COVID-19" scheme.

The country reported 2,482 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total caseload to 373,120, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

New cases slipped a bit from the previous day's 2,667, which marked the fourth largest ever and the first time since Sept. 30 that daily infection cases exceeded 2,500.

The health authorities warned virus cases could continue to trend upward again, especially after the Halloween weekend when once-empty popular nightlife districts became bustling and busy again with young people.

The seven-day average from Oct. 28 to Nov. 4 was 2,101.7, the first time since Oct. 8 that the tally surpassed 2,000.

Seoul citizens wait in line to get tested for the coronavirus at a testing center at Seoul Plaza on Nov. 3, 2021. (Yonhap)

The KDCA said 75.9 percent of the country's 52 million population are fully vaccinated and 80.5 percent received their first shots.

More than 70 percent of new COVID-19 patients have not been vaccinated, with 24 percent of them in their teens, according to the authorities.

Of the total, 2,457 were local infections, the KDCA said. Twenty-five cases came from overseas, putting the cumulative total at 15,174.

Of the locally transmitted cases, Seoul had 946 cases, with the surrounding Gyeonggi Province logging 873 cases and Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, 171 cases.

The death toll rose by 24 to 2,916 on Thursday, the health authorities said. The fatality rate came to 0.78 percent.

Currently, private gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed, regardless of vaccination. Still, wearing a face mask indoors is mandated.

While restrictions on restaurants, cafes and movie theaters are fully lifted, high-risk facilities, such as bars and nightclubs, are required to implement the "vaccine pass" system where visitors have to show they have been fully vaccinated or have a negative test result.

People pack a street in Itaewon in central Seoul as many come out to enjoy Halloween festivities on Oct. 31, 2021. (Yonhap)

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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