South Korea was hit with another substantial spike in new COVID-19 infections Thursday, with 700 confirmed within a single 24 hour period.
The daily tally marks the highest count of confirmed cases in South Korea in 91 days, or since early January.
Officials are now admitting a fourth wave something that's been forecast for weeks might be around the corner.
"We have an urgent crisis where a fourth wave might become a reality if we fail to curb the spread. If you look at the route of infections, the situation has become much more serious."
674 of Thursday's cases were local transmissions.
The greater Seoul area reported 485 local infections, accounting for 72 percent of the day's domestic cases.
The southern city of Busan recorded 51 new local infections.
Daejeon, a city in the center of the country, confirmed 25.
"Cluster infections are popping up everywhere, whether it's the capital or elsewhere. The virus is spreading wherever there's a crack in prevention, not only at entertainment and leisure facilities, but also at schools, churches, restaurants and gyms."
A cluster from an entertainment facility in Busan has now seen at least 318 linked infections.
A traveling church group has become the source of 208 cases, with seven more confirmed on Thursday afternoon.
In response, the South Korean government on Friday will announce new measures in a bid to stem the spread.
Kim Yeonseung, Arirang News.