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As coronavirus spikes, S. Korea tightens restrictions

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                People wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the coronavirus pray while maintaining social distancing during a service at the Chogyesa temple in Seoul, South Korea, today.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    People wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the coronavirus pray while maintaining social distancing during a service at the Chogyesa temple in Seoul, South Korea, today.

SEOUL, South Korea >> South Korea counted its 11th straight day of triple-digit daily jumps in coronavirus cases as officials tighten social distancing restrictions nationwide to combat what they describe as the biggest crisis since the emergence of COVID-19.

The 266 cases reported by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came after three consecutive days of over-300 increases, although infection numbers tend to be lower at the start of the week due to the lesser number of tests in weekends.

The KCDC said 202 of the new cases came from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 51 million population, where health workers have struggled to track transmissions linked to various sources, including churches, restaurants, schools and workers.

Infections were also reported in major cities throughout the country, including Busan, Daejeon and Sejong.

KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong said it’s likely the country will continue to report huge infection numbers in coming days as health workers scramble to trace and test contacts of virus carriers.

The country has banned larger gatherings, shut down nightspots and churches and removed fans from professional sports nationwide.

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