The new cases bring the country’s total infections to 106,898, with 1,756 deaths, with the latest surge centered around clusters in kindergartens, saunas, bars and churches. Over 63% of new cases were found in Seoul and neighbouring regions, including Gyeonggi province, KDCA data showed.
Authorities said they would expand testing efforts to trace transmission nationwide through epidemiological surveys and preemptive testing.
“If the fourth wave of infections becomes a reality, a disruption to vaccination would be inevitable, as well as dealing a big blow to our economy,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a government meeting on Wednesday.
“The government is maximising efforts to prevent the fourth wave by mobilising all means possible,” he said.
The country has so far administered over a million doses of vaccine among medical workers and high-risk groups since the start of its inoculation drive in February, yet authorities face a backlash for relying on the global vaccine-sharing programme COVAX, which has run into delays. Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Kenneth Maxwell