|A woman wearing a face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus walks at a park in Seoul, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. AP|
South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed above 100 for the third straight day Friday due to continued rises in sporadic cluster infections, putting the country's virus fight to the test ahead of a major holiday.
The country added 114 more COVID-19 cases, including 95 local infections, raising the total caseload to 23,455, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
It marked a fall from 125 new cases reported Thursday but stayed higher than 110 cases Wednesday. Daily infections fell to double digits for the third day in a row Tuesday.
The country's new virus cases had been in the triple digits for more than a month since Aug. 14, due to cases tied to a church and a political rally, with new cases soaring to 441 on Aug. 27.
New COVID-19 cases have been on a slowing trajectory on the back of tougher virus curbs, but they have been not easily brought down under 100, the target set by health authorities.
The country's virus fight stands at a critical juncture ahead of the Chuseok fall harvest holiday, which runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4. Millions of South Koreans travel across the nation to meet their families and relatives during Chuseok.
The country set the two weeks starting Sept. 28 as a special period for strong nationwide antivirus efforts. Later in the day, it will unveil details about quarantine guidelines during the holiday.
The country, meanwhile, added 19 imported cases, increasing the total to 3,149.
South Korea reported two additional deaths, raising the death toll to 395. (Yonhap)