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S. Korea reports 671 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday as gov't maintains current social distancing levels Updated: 2021-04-09 16:57:19 KST

South Korea reported 671 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday of which 644 were local transmissions.
This is a slight drop from 700 cases a day before, but the general trend recently has been upward.

"The average daily caseload for the past week has been at 555 which could be a sign of the beginning of a fourth wave. The R number has surpassed 1 hinting that the wave will continue to grow."

The current numbers show that the fourth wave has the potential to be much bigger than the third wave.
With around 700 new cases, health authorities are worried that the doubling effect could mean that new cases next week could top one-thousand per day.
And epidemiologists failed to find the transmission route in 27.5 percent of cases last week compared to around 13 percent when the third wave started in November.
Despite those worries, for now the government has decided to keep the social distancing levels nationwide at the same level for another three weeks starting next Monday.
Currently the capital region and the city of Busan have a distancing level of two, and the rest of the country is at level one.five.
But there are some adjustments to the distancing measures.

''Nightlife venues in the capital region and Busan will be closed as according to social distancing level two. Singing rooms, gyms, restaurants, and cafes will operate as things are now, but the allowed hours could be shortened to 9 PM at any time necessary."

Nightlife venues in areas with level two distancing however have some chance of operating again.
Local health authorities will assess the situation and could give these businesses permission to operate until 10 PM as long as they follow strict distancing measures.
In addition from April 12th anyone not wearing masks indoors could now face fines of up to 100-thousand won, roughly 90 U.S. dollars.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.
Reporter : tkim@arirang.com
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