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>> Jin Yu Young, The New York Times
Published: 09/25/2021 8:58 PM BdST
Updated: 09/25/2021 8:58 PM BdST
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 2,434 new infections, beating the previous record of 2,221 infections set last month.
At a briefing on Friday, health officials said the surge was partly due to Chuseok – Attributed to the holiday when many people traveled around the country spending time with friends and family. The government encourages people to get tested after the holiday.
Chuseok roughly corresponds to Thanksgiving in the US and was observed Monday through Wednesday. The Korea Transport Institute estimates that over 32 million people would travel over the holidays.
For the past week, the country averaged around 1,500 new cases per day, according to statistics from Our World in Data. Most of the cases are concentrated in the capital city of Seoul and the surrounding area, but officials were concerned that the holiday would further spread the virus.
Testing and quarantine have been South Korea’s primary tools to contain the spread of the disease, and the country was able to contain outbreaks at the start of the pandemic.
South Korea’s vaccination program started slowly, but the country has now vaccinated 43% of its population. By October, 70% of the population should be vaccinated.
“There is no problem at all with the amount of vaccines that have been secured for this year,” President Moon Jae-in said on Friday, according to Reuters. “Vaccine shipments started slower than other countries, which delayed the vaccination program, but I believe we will catch up by next month and be a leader in vaccination rates.”
A few weeks ago the government put several restrictions on personal Meeting relaxed. Family celebrations with up to eight people were allowed for Chuseok if at least four people were fully vaccinated.
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