South Korea tightens corona curbs after record death toll

22 December, 2020 12:00 AM printer

SEOUL: South Korea banned gatherings of more than four people in the capital and surrounding areas on Monday as the country recorded its highest daily coronavirus death toll since the epidemic began, reports AFP.

While South Korea has suffered relatively lightly compared to other nations, officials said a surge in infections had left hospitals in the capital region with a chronic shortage of intensive care beds.

The country reported 926 new coronavirus cases Monday, and the death toll was now at 698 after 24 people died in the past 24 hours—a record high since the emergence of the epidemic. South Korea had previously been held up as a model of how to combat the virus, with the public largely following social distancing and other rules.

But a resurgence centred on the capital and surrounding areas has seen daily cases climb to over 1,000 several times in the past week, and acting mayor Seo Jung-hyup said there were only four empty beds left in intensive care units in Seoul.