South Korea on Thursday recorded 18-hundred and 42 new COVID-19 cases in just one day.
That's the highest number since the pandemic began, topping the previous record of 17-hundred 84 from the day before.
Thursday's total includes 309 imported cases, 270 of which were from members of the navy's Cheonghae Unit who returned from a mission in waters off Africa.
It's the first time for imported cases to reach triple digits.
In fact, one more member was confirmed positive on Thursday morning, which means over 90 percent of the crew has been infected.
On top of that, the fast-spreading Delta variant is leading to more cluster infections among local communities outside the capital area.
In fact, there were 546 cases from outside the greater Seoul area, exceeding five-hundred for two straight days.
Under the circumstances, it's highly likely that the government will extend the current level four distancing measures in the greater Seoul area for two more weeks.
Local health authorities say they will wait until the weekend before considering a change to the current measures which are set to end on Sunday.
That may also include tightening restrictions on private gatherings after 6 PM outside the greater Seoul area.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.