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S. Korea reports over 600 new COVID-19 cases for three days straight Updated: 2021-05-18 05:55:50 KST

South Korea reported 619 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, staying in the six hundred range for the third straight day.
Mondays usually see lower numbers due to fewer tests done over the weekend, but these 619 cases are the most recorded on a Monday in over four months.
All but 22 were locally transmitted with regions outside the capital area accounting for over forty percent.
Cluster infections have broken out at a church in Seoul and a nursing home and furniture factory in Gyeonggi-do Province.
In response to outbreaks at densely packed restaurants, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has urged owners to space tables out by a meter or more.
At least 22 people have been infected at an army base in Gangwon-do Province, while a recent outbreak among foreign workers in the same province is now being linked to nearly a hundred cases.
About a third of the day's 22 imported cases are believed to have come from India, the current global epicenter where hundreds of thousands of people are being infected every day.
Authorities are still on high alert for variant strains, a problem particularly affecting the cities of Busan and Ulsan along with Gyeongsangnam-do Province.

"To prevent the influx of more variant cases, authorities will push to isolate in state-designated facilities those entering from countries at risk of the India and South Africa variant, and conduct more PCR tests on arrivals exempt from isolation"

As of May eleventh, there have been over 800 cases of the three main variants in the country since last October.
The UK variant accounting for more than 700 of those.
These mutant strains, along with low vaccination numbers compared to the U.S., have prompted Korean health authorities to warn that masks are still necessary.
South Korea's total number of COVID-19 cases stands at 132,290.
The virus has claimed three more lives, raising the death toll to one,903.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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