Sun. Jan 17th, 2021

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea has reported its biggest daily increase in coronovirus infection on Christmas day, as the Prime Minister appealed for vigilance to prevent a viral surge that has worsened hospitalizations and deaths.

On Friday, 1,241 new cases confirmed by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency brought the nation’s casinos to 54,770. Seventeen COVID-19 patients died in the last 24 hours, leading to 773 deaths.

More than 870 of the new cases were from the large capital region, home to half of the country’s 51 million population, where more than 500 infections have been linked to a large prison in Seoul. Clusters have been popping up from almost everywhere in recent weeks, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, churches, restaurants and army units.

To slow the rate of transmission in the country, its mass testing program has been expanded and more than 118,000 trials were conducted on Thursday alone. Officials are closing in private ceremonies through January 3 to close national parks and ski resorts and pay fines for restaurants, upon receiving groups of five or more.

“The last week of the year that begins with Christmas is usually a time where people gather and share their affection with each other, but it is hard to see that this year any of the world’s In part, “Prime Minister Chung Si-kyun said a virus meeting.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region:

– Authorities in China’s northeast port city of Dalian are testing millions of residents after seven new cases surfaced in the last 24 hours. The cluster reported in recent times has increased to 12 cases. In five neighborhood divisions, officials have closed schools, public spaces and are prohibiting workers from needing anyone to release their residential compounds. In addition to two confirmed cases last week, Beijing is also on high alert after two asymptomatic cases surfaced on Thursday. The city began a large-scale trial in a nearby case, a restaurant worker who handled a cold chain. According to the announcement by the Beijing West District, government employees are testing over 5,000 people. The last time the capital outbreak occurred was in June when a cluster was found in a major wholesale food market. As the New Year and Chinese Lunar New Year holidays approach, a spokeswoman for the city government warned people of family and friends, more celebrations, as well as the risks at the restaurant. He said, “We must carry out the epidemic prevention work well during the holidays and ensure that everyone has a happy and peaceful holiday.”

Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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