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S. Korea to decide whether to keep current social distancing level as it adds 528 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday Updated: 2021-05-18 16:19:44 KST

South Korea will announce on Friday whether to maintain the current social distancing rules from next week.
If any changes are made, the new measures will take effect for three weeks starting from next Monday.
Currently, the greater capital area is at level two, and most of the rest of the country is under level 1.5 of the five tier-system.
With the country's new four-tier scheme coming along in July, the current levels, as well as the bans on gatherings of five or more people, and restrictions on small businesses are likely to remain in place for another round.
This comes as South Korea on Tuesday reported 528 new COVID-19 cases.
While the greater capital area remains South Korea's virus hotspot, accounting for sixty-three percent of Tuesday's cases, cluster infections are popping up across the whole country most of them stemming from small gatherings.

"The rate of infection from individual contact through small gatherings of family and friends was 46 percent, the highest since related data was first compiled last August."

Another major concern is the rapid spread of COVID-19 variants.
The country has seen a total of more than 1,1-hundred cases.
Most of the recently reported variant cases have been the UK variant.
While the country's daily tally is hovering around five to seven hundred cases, health authorities are getting ready for the next stage of the vaccine rollout.
The vaccine reservation rate for those aged 70 to 74 has passed 60 percent and those between 65 and 69 has reached more than a half.
The country is looking to receive some 430-thousand doses of Pfizer's vaccine on Wednesday, which is currently given mostly to those aged 75 or older.
Wednesday's arrival is part of the 700-thousand doses that the government has agreed to receive directly from the company during the first half of this year.
Replying to citizens' concerns over vaccine side effects on Tuesday, the KDCA chief Jeong Eun-kyeong once again emphasized that the vaccination is the only way to get back to normal.
She also stressed that side effects of vaccines are extremely rare while their effects of protecting our health and lives are clear.
Kim Sung-min, Arirang News.
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