S. Korea reports 1,716 cases of COVID-19; cases could rise in wake of holiday travel
Updated: 2021-09-23 19:05:00 KST
On Thursday, after people returned from the five-day Chuseok holiday, the country reported 1,7-hundred-16 new infections.
That's relatively low for that day of the week, given that the figure topped two-thousand on the two previous Thursdays.
Of the new infections, over 76 percent were in the greater Seoul area.
Seoul alone reported 6-hundred-45 cases, after seeing the positive rate reaching over 1.9 percent at one point during the holiday period, despite a drop in testing.
That represents an absolute increase in infections, largely attributed to major cluster infections.
One of those broke out at a traditional market in Songpa-gu, where case numbers total 4-hundred-8 since the holiday began.
And another market in the central district of Jung-gu -- there have been one-hundred-59.
The city has set up extra testing sites near those two markets.
Authorities are worried that cases will surge in the coming days as testing picks back up, and not just in the hardest-hit capital region but the whole country.
Plus, there's a rising number of breakthrough infections, especially among men in their 30s and 40s who've received the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
"Our current assessment is that they are an age group who spend a lot of time out of the house, so they have more chances to be exposed to the virus."
They say they will closely monitor the situation until early next week, to disucuss what to do with the current distancing measures that are set to expire on October 3rd.
They also continue to stress the importance of the infection rate.
They say it will remain a factor when deciding on a transition to "living with the virus" even after Korea has 70 percent of its population fully vaccinated.
As of Thursday, 71 percent of the population have received at least one dose, and 43 percent have gotten both.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.