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S. Korea extends social distancing rules for three weeks, social gathering cap increased to six people Updated: 2022-01-14 08:27:06 KST

South Korea's social distancing measures have just been updated.
They've been extended for another three weeks, as authorities remain cautious over the spread of Omicron.
For more on this, we have our Choi Min-jung on the line.

Mark, the measures have been relaxed to a certain extent.

South Korea's Prime Minister announced this morning that the current capacity for social gatherings will be increased from the current four, to six people.
However, business operation hours will still be limited to 9 PM.
The decision comes as authorities still remain cautious over the current virus situation, but at the same time are taking into account the growing backlash over the current, stricter antivirus restrictions.
The new measures will take effect for three weeks starting next Monday, until February 6th.
This means the rule will be in place during the Korean Lunar New Year, Seollal, holiday period as well.
And the Prime Minister has advised citizens to maintain social distancing as much as possible during the holiday.

How many new cases did South Korea report today?

South Korea on Friday reported 4-thousand 5-hundred 42 new COVID-19 cases.
Numbers have been declining for a while, with stronger social distancing measures and the nation's booster shot drive.
But it seems the decline is gradually slowing due to the spread of the Omicron variant.
Meanwhile, the number of imported cases has again hit a record-high on Friday,.. with 4-hundred 9 cases.

But shifting to a more positive note, nationwide delivery of the first batch of Pfizer's oral COVID-19 pills is underway.
The initial batch to treat 21-thousand people, is being distributed to around 2-hundred 80 pharmacies as well as 89 residential treatment centers.
Facilities will most likely receive the treatments sometime today.
And they're also expected to arrive on islands, like Jeju, by tomorrow.
The treatments will be administered as early as today, with priority given to those aged 65 and over,.. and people with weak immune systems.
When taking the pills, people should take three pills at a time, once in the morning and once in the evening.
They need to be taken for five days, regardless of how symptoms progress.

That's all I have for now.
Back to you, Mark.
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