Coronavirus South Korea: Seoul sees third wave with new clusters linked to dance class and wine bar

Small coronavirus clusters have emerged in a third wave of infections in South Korea, centred in the capital city of Seoul.

South Korean authorities urged people to remain vigilant about anti-virus measures as the country recorded a nine-month high of more than 600 new infections on Friday.

According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), the country recorded 583 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of infections since the start of the pandemic to 36,915.

Among the small but widespread clusters in Seoul, confirmed cases linked to a dance class in the west of the city rose by nine to 249 in under two weeks. In another cluster related to a wine bar, 21 people tested positive.

Other clusters include a real estate firm that reported 27 new cases and an insurance firm with 20 positive infections, reported theYonhap news

The government implemented tighter restrictions in the capital on Saturday, shuttering most establishments and shops at 9pm for two weeks and scaling back public transport by 30 per cent in the evenings.

It will decide on Sunday whether to further tighten the measures. The KDCA said the recent surge is more difficult to contain than the two previous waves of infections earlier this year, as clusters of different sizes continue to emerge.

KDCA official told a news briefing: “The recent outbreaks are small, multiple and is spread in people’s everyday lives. Please keep in mind that the current wave is not limited to a specific group or place but may be around our homes, family and acquaintances.”

The number of people seriously or severely ill with Covid-19 rose by five to 121, reported KDCA, adding on Friday that there were just 59 sickbeds immediately available for serious or severe cases. Health authorities warned that the beds might run out in less than two weeks.

South Korea has reported 36,915 Covid-19 infections and 540 deaths since the pandemic began.

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