• Daily New COVID-19 Cases Surpass 2,000 As Infections Spike In Seoul Area
People flock to free, temporary COVID-19 screen centers across Seoul as infection rates spike ahead of the 
Chuseok holiday. (Photo: Yonhap)

South Korea has recorded more than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19, with infections in the capital region surging to a record high ahead of the major fall harvest holiday.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Wednesday it confirmed 2,057 local and 30 imported infections in the last 24 hours, raising the cumulative case count to 277,989.

It marked the fourth-largest daily caseload since the start of the pandemic.

Officials also reported 13 additional virus-related fatalities, pushing up the death toll to 2,380.

Infections in the greater Seoul area, home to half of the country's population of over 51 million, have been weighing down on containment efforts recently, accounting for 80 percent of domestic cases.

The capital area, including Incheon and Gyeonggi Province, logged a record 1,656 local infections, with Seoul reporting a high of 804 new coronavirus patients.

Health authorities are especially worried about a virus flare-up after the Chuseok holiday, when tens of millions of people are expected to travel across the country.

Current social distancing measures -- Level 4 in the greater Seoul area and Level 3 in other regions -- have been extended through October 3.

Meanwhile, authorities continue to urge people to get vaccinated.

The government said it expects to hit a first-shot vaccination rate of 70 percent this week.

More than 67 percent of the population have so far received their first shots of COVID-19 vaccines, and more than 40 percent have been fully vaccinated, according to the KDCA.

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