New COVID-19 cases in South Korea continue to rise as it reported 343 cases on Thursday, of which 293 were local transmissions.
The capital area accounted for more than half of the new cases on the same day it started its raised social distancing level of 1.5.
Just in the city of Seoul alone, local transmissions showed a sharp rise and reached triple digits for the first time since the beginning of September.
Due to the pace of additional infections, some experts say that the area, along with other regions, needs tougher measures than the current 1.5 distancing level.
The government said it's aware of the sharp rise and said if the weekly average number of daily cases in the greater Seoul area tops 200, they will consider tougher measures.
Experts in infectious diseases say that from a medical perspective, the current measures may not be enough while other aspects such as the economy also need consideration.
However, there's one important factor that can't be ignored.
"A very important factor is that the level should be quickly adjusted or changed if there is a sign that the medical infrastructure can't cope with the number of newly infected patients and the ones in critical conditions"
And other regions are also seeing an uptick in cases. Thursday was the first time since late August that the rest of the country outside of the greater Seoul area saw a total of more than 100 new cases.
And the city of Suncheon, in Jeollanam-do Province, raised its social distancing measures to Level 2, becoming the first region to do so, after reporting 19 new cases on Thursday.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News