After assessing data from the past week, South Korea has raised the nationwide level of danger the pandemic is posing to the country from "high" to "very high".
By region, the capital area has been at "very high" levels for two weeks straight while the rest of the country has been under "medium" levels.
This comes as health authorities reported another 3,309 new COVID-19 infections on Monday.
And with 32 new fatalities, the death toll now stands at 3,580.
The number of critical cases, meanwhile, has been above 600 for five days straight, with 629 reported as of Monday the vast majority aged sixty years old or above.
"COVID-19 has been threatening our 'return to normal' faster than we originally expected. COVID-19 patients have spiked to around 4-thousand every day and more than 1-thousand patients are waiting for beds."
Around 1,150 people in Seoul and the surrounding areas are still waiting to be assigned beds for intensive care.
Over 90 percent of beds in both Chungcheongnam-do and Chungcheongbuk-do provinces are occupied while the city of Daejeon has completely run out of beds.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.