South Korea hits new daily record for Covid cases in third wave

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • South Korea is in a third Covid-19 wave.
  • The country's president apologised for failing to control the latest wave, despite stricter social distancing rules.
  • South Korea endured one of the worst early Covid-19 outbreaks outside mainland China.


South Korea reported 1 030 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, a record high for a second day in a row as the country struggles to tackle a third wave of infections.

The country had previously been held up as a model of how to combat the pandemic, with the public largely following social distancing and other rules.

But a resurgence centred on the capital and surrounding area has prompted President Moon Jae-in to apologise on Facebook for his administration's failure to contain the latest wave.

EXPLAINER | Where are we in the Covid-19 vaccine race?

On Saturday he called the situation "very grave" after authorities reported 950 new infections, the largest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.

Saturday's record was broken on Sunday with 1 002 new locally transmitted cases, some 786 of which were uncovered in the greater Seoul area - home to half the country's 52 million people.

The weekend numbers followed several days in which authorities reported figures ranging from about 500 to 600.

South Korea's spike came despite the government's tightening of social distancing rules in the capital area earlier this week.

The stricter restrictions include a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people and spectators at sports events. Cafes can serve only takeaways, while restaurants must close by 9 pm, with only deliveries permitted afterwards.

However, authorities said Saturday they may have to tighten the curbs further to the highest level by closing schools, banning gatherings of more than 10 people and allowing only essential employees to offices.

South Korea endured one of the worst early Covid-19 outbreaks outside mainland China, but brought it broadly under control with its "trace, test and treat" approach.

It has never imposed the kind of lockdowns ordered in much of Europe and other parts of the world.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When and why would you have your or your partner's sperm count checked?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
That's an unnecessary procedure
17% - 1025 votes
As soon as we decide to start a family
7% - 460 votes
Only if we're struggling to conceive
76% - 4719 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.34
-0.3%
Rand - Pound
19.83
-0.4%
Rand - Euro
17.03
-0.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.76
-0.6%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.7%
Gold
1,777.63
+0.7%
Silver
25.98
+0.7%
Palladium
2,486.50
+0.8%
Platinum
1,034.90
-0.4%
Brent Crude
73.51
+0.6%
Top 40
59,236
-0.5%
All Share
65,311
-0.5%
Resource 10
60,677
-0.5%
Industrial 25
87,606
-0.4%
Financial 15
12,897
-0.8%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo