The number of new COVID-19 cases in South Korea remained below 400 for the second day on Tuesday, signaling a continued slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus, while the authorities called for continued vigilance.
A total of 386 new cases were added, raising the total number of people infected so far to 73,115, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.
The daily number of new cases over the past 15 days went from 714 to 838, 869, 674, 641, 657, 451, 537, 561, 524, 513, 580, 520, 389 and now 386.
The number stayed above 100 for the 73rd consecutive day, since Nov. 8.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun asked Koreans to strictly follow disease prevention guidelines, saying infections are still occurring through daily activities.
“Over the past week, cluster infections went down, but infections via personal contacts with confirmed patients have gone up to 45 percent of total new infections,” Chung was quoted as saying during a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters on Tuesday.
“It is spreading through family, acquaintances and colleagues at work.”
The number of new cases could spike anytime, and if the situation gets worse around the Lunar New Year’s holidays, which fall Feb. 11 through 13, the country will be “back on the defensive in the fight against COVID-19,” the prime minister said.
“This is why we cannot lower vigilance until we can wholly return to our daily lives,” he said.
“If you have symptoms, please avoid contact with family and get tested immediately.”
He also mentioned Seoul City’s campaign to have one person in each household get a “preemptive test,” saying it could be a good way to look out for infections at home.
By Kim So-hyun (email@example.com