South Korea reports 583 cases, highest since March

SEOUL South Korea reported 583 new cases yesterday, the highest since March, as it grapples with a third wave of infections that appears to be worsening despite tough new social distancing measures.

The government reimposed strict distancing rules on Seoul and its surrounding regions this week, only a month after they had been eased following a second wave of infections.

Some experts say the government moved too early to relax those rules, as the daily tally exceeds 500 for the first time since March 6, with young people at the centre of the surge.

Of the latest cases, 553 were locally transmitted and almost 73 per cent of those were from the greater Seoul area, the highest ever for the region, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

The armed forces ordered a 10-day ban on leave after a series of outbreaks at military facilities. Other clusters have been traced to a sauna, high school, children's cafe, get- together among friends, an aerobic academy and churches.

South Korea's total infections stand at 32,318 with 515 deaths. - REUTERS