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‘Seoul Stops At 9 PM’ Starting Dec 5 As Virus Cases Hit 9-Month High

by Victoria Marian Belmis / Dec 04, 2020 07:33 AM EST

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun says the virus remained "uncontainable" as South Korea is under critical alert over a bigger wave of the pandemic projected during the winter.

On December 4, health authorities reported 629 new coronavirus infections, the highest in South Korea since the first wave peaked in February despite tightened social distancing measures. 

Today's caseload includes 600 local infections, raising the total caseload to 36,332. Moreover, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 7 additional deaths, bringing the total fatalities to 536. 

Before the 9-month high record, South Korea has reported more than 500 new cases for two days straight. 

Because of the upward trend of new coronavirus cases, health authorities urge people to follow the stringent social distancing and other antivirus measures that have been placed. They have also called on people to cancel all year-end gatherings and parties during the holidays. 

"Please hold online celebrations especially for Christmas, religious events, and New Year sunrise festivals if possible, and we urge you to not host any parties or events at hotels," said Health Ministry official Yoon Tae-ho in a briefing.

However, amid rising concerns that a bigger wave of the pandemic is in progress, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said the government will monitor the current pace until the weekend before deciding on whether to adopt additional measures.

Additionally, Chung admits that the number of coronavirus cases is again on an "upward momentum, and the crisis is continuing." He further added that the greater Seoul area shows no signs of decline despite adopting enhanced social distancing measures.

Meanwhile, 295 of the locally infected cases, occurred in Seoul, the highest number recorded by the capital city since the pandemic's breakout. 

Because of this, Seoul is cutting back public transport operations by 30% in the evenings according to Acting Seoul mayor Seo Jeong-hyup. In a press conference, he announced that shops, theatres, libraries, establishments as well as all city-run facilities will be asked to shut down after 9 p.m.

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