With no clear signs of downtrend in the number of new COVID-19 patients amid the third wave of the pandemic, the South Korean government is mulling over whether to raise social distancing measures to level 3 the highest level in its five-tier system.
The country reported 1,50 new virus cases on Wednesday, exceeding the one-thousand mark for the second day in a row.
Of Wednesday's new cases, 1,25 were locally transmitted, and 25 were from overseas.
There have been 20 more deaths, bringing the death toll to 879.
Of Wednesday's new cases, 705 were from the greater Seoul area.
Those include cases from a mass outbreak at Dongbu Detention Center in Seoul, where at least 792 people have been infected so far and one person has died.
Health authorities on Wednesday decided to conduct a fourth round of testing at the detention center.
The Prime Minister on Wednesday showed his concern over the scale of the third wave of cases.
"The percentage of confirmed cases is relatively low compared to the total population of the country. However, around 40 percent of the total confirmed cases have occurred in the past month, making the current third wave of the virus our biggest challenge so far."
He also mentioned the 8 hundred billion Korean won or around 7-hundred-34 million U.S dollars' of disaster relief funds allocated for hospitals and medical personnel, and urged authorities to carry out the support measures as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the Central Disaster Management headquarters on Wednesday thanked the public for social distancing, and encouraged people to refrain from meeting during the year-end holiday season.
"The movement of people in the greater Seoul area over the weekend has been on the decline for three weeks. I am confident that this crisis will be our last if the current efforts to social distance is maintained."
He also stressed the government will continue to provide full support to the public to overcome this health crisis.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.