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South Korea considers implementing coronavirus restrictions as case numbers rise

South Korea considers implementing coronavirus restrictions as case numbers rise
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South Korean officials are considering implementing coronavirus restrictions as transmissions of the virus are being reported in large spikes across the country.

The Korean Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 386 new cases Saturday, raising the country's case total since the pandemic's outset to 30,403 cases and 503 fatalities, The Associated Press reported.

In a statement, the Korea Society of Infectious Diseases warned Friday that cases across the country could reach 1,000 daily if further pandemic safety measures are not enforced.

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“COVID-19 transmissions are occurring in large numbers simultaneously across the country, and in some regions, the pace of infections has already overwhelmed local capacities for contact tracing,” the medical group said.

Their statement comes after over 270 of South Korea's new infections were found concentrated in the heavily populated Seoul metropolitan area, where health officials have struggled to track transmissions coming from schools and religious institutions.

High rates of cases were also recorded in other densely-populated cities, including Busan, Daejeon, Gwangju and Asan.

While the current trajectory of outbreaks is concerning to local health officials, the country has maintained its daily case rate in the low-hundreds by relying on aggressive testing-and-quarantine strategies and a strict observance of mask-wearing rules.

In October, officials eased some pandemic measures, allowing specific high-risk venues such as bars and nightclubs to reopen and also permitting fans to attend sports events.