• S. Korea Reports Spike Of Over 600 New Virus Cases
Crowds of masked people visit the Independence Hall of Korea on Children's Day. (Photo: Yonhap News)

A spike of 676 new coronavirus cases were reported by Korean health authorities on Wednesday as cluster infections continued to hamper the fight against the pandemic.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said 651 local and 25 imported infections were confirmed in the last 24 hours, raising the total caseload to 124,945.

More than 60 percent of the latest cases were from the greater Seoul area.

Seven more virus-related fatalities were also reported, pushing the death toll to 1,847.

Daily tallies have been on an upward trend over the past week, with an average of 611 confirmed cases a day, which would normally call for raising social distancing levels to 2.5.

Despite increased movement across the county and concerns about a potential fourth wave, health authorities decided to extend Level 2 social distancing rules in the capital region, Level 1.5 measures in most all other areas, and a ban on private gatherings of five or more people until May 23.

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