Photo: Yonhap News
A sharp jump in the daily number of coronavirus case in South Korea has put health authorities on edge again.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 103 new infections on Friday, including 85 local transmissions, mostly from the Seoul metro area.
As our Ron Chang reports, this surge has the government considering reinstating strict social distancing.
South Korea has recorded over 100 new coronavirus cases for the first time since July 25, when a surge was driven by infections among Korean construction workers returning from Iraq and cases brought in by Russian vessels.
But this latest spike is more concerning because of the increase in local transmissions.
Most of them are from Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and Incheon, tied to growing clusters at churches, schools and shopping areas as well as multiple cafes and a Lotteria fast-food chain.
Jung Eun-kyeong, chief of the KCDC, said the current crisis in the capital region could lead to another mass outbreak.
She called on the general public to practice social distancing during the long holiday weekend, avoid attending religious events and refrain from taking part in scheduled Liberation Day rallies on Saturday.
Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said the country will have to wait and see for the next few days before a decision is made on whether to raise the national coronavirus alert level and enforce stricter distancing measures.
If realized, it will include a ban on large gatherings, shutting down "high-risk" facilities such as karaoke bars and barring fans from attending sports games.
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