Crowds of people queue up at COVID-19 testing centers across the Seoul metro area as infections spike to record highs ahead of the summer holiday season. (Photo: Yonhap)
South Korea has reported 1,842 new coronavirus cases, setting a new single-day record for the second consecutive day.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency announced Thursday 1,533 local infections and 309 imported cases for the previous 24 hours, raising the cumulative total to 184,103.
Three more virus-related fatalities pushed the death toll to 2,063.
The latest imported cases included 270 sailors from the Cheonghae naval unit who were infected with the virus during their anti-piracy mission in waters off East Africa.
None of the sailors were vaccinated.
The government has been working to speed up its COVID-19 vaccine drive to help bring down infection numbers, but it's been hampered by a tight supply of doses.
Only 32 percent of the population have received their first shots.
Meanwhile, cluster outbreaks in the capital and spiking cases in non-capital regions continue to be fueled by lax public vigilance and the spread of more contagious Delta variant.
Since last week, the greater Seoul areas has been under the toughest Level 4 social distancing rules, which ban gatherings of more than two people and restrict business operations.
Health officials are considering whether to extend the current distancing measures that are set to expire on Sunday.
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