• New COVID-19 Cases In S. Korea Surpass 2,000 Again
A health worker clad in protective gear checks on a patient in the COVID-19 ward at Bagae Hospital in 
Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province. (Photo: Yonhap)

South Korea has added 2,008 new cases of COVID-19 and three more virus-related fatalities to its growing caseload amid the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Friday it confirmed 1,973 local infections and 35 imported cases in the last 24 hours.

Since the start of pandemic, the country has recorded 281,938 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 2,389 deaths.

The case-fatality rate stood at 0.85 percent.

Health authorities, still battling the fourth wave of infections that began in July, are worried that increased travel during the long Chuseok holiday that starts this weekend will lead to another surge in cases.

People are being urged to stay at home and get vaccinated to curb the spread.

The toughest Level 4 social distancing measures in the greater Seoul area, and Level 3 restrictions in other regions, will run through October 3.

Special quarantine measures will also be enforced through the end of next week, including extra operations of COVID-19 screening clinics at expressway rest stops.

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

So far, 69 percent of the country's population of over 51 million, have had their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 42 percent have been fully vaccinated, according to the KDCA.

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