• New Coronavirus Infections Near 2,000 Again In S. Korea
A temporary COVID-19 testing center opens at a national park in Gwangju amid an influx in visitors during the fall foliage season. (Photo: Yonhap)

South Korean authorities continue to keep close watch over post-holiday COVID-19 spikes as the country looks to gradually transition to pre-pandemic life.

A total of 1,940 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency announced Thursday, up 356 from the previous day.

The agency also reported 13 additional virus-related deaths.

By region, more than 80 percent of the newly confirmed patients were from the greater Seoul area.

Since the start of the pandemic, South Korea has tallied 337,679 cases and 2,618 coronavirus deaths.

The KDCA said it was starting to see signs of a COVID slowdown amid high vaccination rates.

However, it stood by its wait-and-see approach, expressing concern that increased travel and outings during the fall foliage season could lead to yet another flare-up in virus cases.

The spread of the highly contagious Delta variant is also a major concern.

More than 61 percent of the population in South Korea has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and over 78 percent have received their first shots, the latest data showed.

The government said it expects to hit the herd immunity threshold of 70 percent fully vaccinated by November.

Health authorities have already begun offering Pfizer booster shots to certain high risk groups and is considering extra doses for recipients of other vaccines.

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