Citizens wait in line for a COVID-19 test at a testing site in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
South Korea’s daily new coronavirus cases surpassed 2,000 for the first time Tuesday despite weeks of toughened social distancing restrictions, according to official data.
As of 9 p.m., 2,021 new infections were confirmed nationwide, up 637 from the same time Monday, health authorities and local governments said.
It is unprecedented that more than 2,000 additional cases have been reported in a day in the country since it saw its first COVID-19 infection on Jan. 20 last year.
South Korea, which has a population of 52 million, has reported four-digit new infections for 35 consecutive days in the fourth wave of the pandemic.
Among the additional cases, 1,380 were reported in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and the western port city of Incheon. Coronavirus infections were confirmed in all of the nation’s 17 major cities and provinces.
Small and large infection clusters, including those involving the delta variant, have been spreading from the Seoul metropolitan area to other regions amid the summer vacation season.
On Tuesday morning, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency stated that 1,540 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed and the nation added nine deaths from the virus through Monday.
The total caseload rose to 213,987 as of the start of the day, with the death toll tallied at 2,134.
Cases in the greater Seoul area reached 818, with 356 in Seoul, 398 in Gyeonggi Province and 64 in Incheon, about 40 kilometers west of Seoul, which accounted for 55.4 percent of the locally transmitted cases. (Yonhap)