South Korea reported 562 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.
536 of the new infections were locally transmitted and over 350 of them came from Seoul and the surrounding area.
With cluster infections at nursing homes and churches still threatening public safety, the total tally has now surpassed 70-thousand less than two weeks after hitting the 60 thousand mark.
20 more fatalities have pushed the death toll up to 1,185.
Meanwhile, the National Health Insurance Service has announced it will claim indemnities from the BTJ Center for All Nations, a missionary facility in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province reportedly responsible for close to 600 infections so far.
The center has been accused of disrupting virus prevention measures by refusing epidemiological investigations.
"We will have to limit the scale of the pandemic as much as possible until February, when vaccination and the introduction of treatments can begin step by step. Only then can prevention measures be carefully eased for industries that have been severely damaged."
South Korea plans to inoculate healthy adults aged 19 to 49 starting in the third quarter of 2021.
They will be given shots after those designated as priority recommendation groups have received their vaccines.
The Central Disease Control Headquarters said on Tuesday that it is pushing to inoculate the population and achieve herd immunity as fast as possible.
Hopes are high for the development of treatments as well.
Korean biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion is scheduled to disclose its COVID-19 antibody therapy's Phase 2 clinical trial results on Wednesday evening.
Called Rekirona, the treatment currently awaits emergency use authorization from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.