|A biker leaves a restaurant in Seoul's Jongno District on Nov. 30. "Riders," who deliver foods or other ordered items, are in shortage these days after Seoul raised its social distancing level to Level 2 amid the alarming number of COVID-19 infection cases, causing more people to order delivery foods or request other delivery services. Yonhap|
The daily number of new coronavirus cases in South Korea stayed in the 400 range for the third day in a row Tuesday, despite tightened antivirus curbs, such as shutdowns of virus-prone facilities, being in place in the greater Seoul area amid the deepening worries over the third infection wave.
The country added 451 more COVID-19 cases, including 420 local infections, raising the total caseload to 34,652, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). It reported no additional coronavirus fatalities, bringing the total to 526.
The daily virus tally is on a slowing path after peaking at an eight-month high of 581 last Thursday. An average of 480 daily new cases were reported over the past week.
However, authorities have repeatedly warned of a possible surge in the upcoming winter season, urging people to follow elevated antivirus measures adopted earlier in the day.
The greater Seoul area that includes Seoul, the surrounding Gyeonggi Province and the western port city of Incheon is under Level 2 social distancing measures in its five-tier system, but even tighter restrictions are applied to virus-prone facilities.
All other areas are at Level 1.5 distancing measures, up one notch, for two weeks.
Under the tougher distancing measures, saunas and steam rooms in bathhouses are not allowed for one week in the greater Seoul area. Nine kinds of indoor exercises practiced in groups, including Zumba dancing, aerobics and kickboxing, are also banned
Hotels, party rooms and other guesthouses that host year-end or New Year's parties that are known be prone to virus transmission are also banned.
By region, 153 new virus cases were reported in Seoul, 86 cases in Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital and 16 cases in Incheon, west of Seoul, accounting for more than 60 percent of the daily new locally transmitted cases. The greater Seoul area is home to around half of the nation's 51.6 million population.
Other municipalities reported new infections, with the southern port city of Busan and North Chungcheong Province each adding 31 new cases.
The number of seriously or critically ill COVID-19 patients came to 97 as of midnight, sharply up from 72 a day earlier.
The country added 31 imported cases coming mainly from the United States and Asian countries, excluding China, the KDCA said.
The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries stood at 27,885, up 260 from the previous day. (Yonhap)