South Korea reports 641 new daily COVID cases, fewest in 32 days

Cynthia Kim
·1-min read
A medical worker checks the doors inside the Mobile Clinic Module outside Korea Cancer Center Hospital in Seoul

By Cynthia Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea reported 641 new coronavirus cases for Friday, the lowest daily total in 32 days, as tougher restrictions during the New Year holiday season begin to curb infection clusters.

Cases were down from 674 on Thursday and 870 on Wednesday, and health authorities said the trend of gradual decline in new cases is likely to continue.

Total cases stand at 67,999 with 1,100 COVID-19 deaths, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.

"The spreading of infections has passed the peak and it looks like we're seeing a gradual stabilisation," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a news briefing. "But given the speed of infections spreading in the third wave, we can see it worsening at any time."

South Korea on Monday expanded a ban on private gatherings larger than four people to the whole country, and extended unprecedented social distancing rules in greater Seoul.

(Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by William Mallard)