• S. Korea's COVID-19 Caseload Surpasses 200,000
Cars line up for COVID-19 testing at a new drive-thru screening site in Seoul's Eunpyeong District. (Photo: Yonhap)

South Korea's COVID-19 caseload has surpassed 200,000 as cluster infections continued to emerge across the country, spurred by increased summer travel.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Monday confirmed 1,219 new infections from the last 24 hours, pushing the cumulative total to 201,002.

The death toll rose by one to 2,099.

Since July 7, the daily caseload has remained above 1,000, due to outbreaks centered in the greater Seoul area, compounded by the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

In an effort to slow down the spread of infections, the toughest Level 4 social distancing rules, including a ban on gatherings of more than two people after 6 p.m., are being enforced in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province.

Most all other regions are under Level 3 measures, which includes a ban on private gatherings of five or more people, through Sunday.

The KDCA said it was also working to speed up vaccinations.

Nearly 18 million people aged 18-49 will begin receiving shots of coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna on August 26.

So far, more than 19.4 million people, or 37.9 percent of the population, have gotten their first shot, and just over 7.1 million have been fully vaccinated.

The government is under pressure to reach its target of administering at least one shot to 70 percent of the population by September with the hopes of achieving herd immunity and containing the fourth wave of the pandemic.

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