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Health authorities grapple with worrisome fourth nationwide spike of COVID-19 Updated: 2021-04-06 04:55:16 KST

South Korea's disease control and prevention chief forecasts the daily new Covid-19 infections in the country may surpass the current 500 level this week.

"The basic reproduction number of the virus exceeded 1 last week, and stood at 1.0-7. So we're expecting to see daily infections higher than the current 500."

A reproduction number of over one means the disease is expanding in new population groups at an increasing rate while a R-naught of less than one means the spread is declining.

Health authorities also announced on Monday that they have discovered the first domestically transmitted case of the more transmissible South Africa Covid-19 variant in South Korea.
With 41 new variant cases - the South African and UK variants - confirmed today, the total caseload stands at 330 for South Korea.

South Korea on Monday reported 473 new coronavirus patients, 449 of which were local transmissions.
The virus tally slightly simmered down to below 500 for the first time in 6 days, but most likely on the account of fewer testings over the weekend.
The greater Seoul area continues to see the majority of the local transmissions with the caseload at 276.
Last week, Seoul city alone saw about 154 new infections a day on average.
An uptick from to the preceding week's average which stood at 122.

The latest developments are raising concerns for the nation's health authorities of a fourth wave of infections in this country.

In an effort to curb the nationwide spike, the government will announce new social distancing measures this Friday, which will take effect from next Monday.
Also, the government starting this Monday, will show little leniency to those defying prevention guidelines.
Businesses will be fined up to 265 U.S. dollars, and individuals up to 88 dollars if they do not take heed of measures.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News
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