SEOUL, Nov. 1 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s new coronavirus cases stayed in triple digits for the fifth straight day on Sunday amid concerns that new infections could spike in the wake of Halloween celebrations held in the middle of eased social distancing steps.
The country added 124 more COVID-19 cases, including 101 local infections, as cluster infections in greater Seoul rose at a rapid clip, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). The total caseload rose to 26,635.
The figure marked the fifth triple-digit rise after 103 new cases reported on Wednesday, 125 on Thursday, 114 on Friday and 127 on Saturday.
Since the country eased its three-tier social distancing measures by one notch to the lowest level on Oct. 12, the daily figures have shown ups and downs, hovering around 100.
The latest growth came mostly from senior nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities, but sporadic community infections have been on the rise at small gatherings including family meetings across the country.
Halloween, which fell on Saturday, is a major concern for health officials as young people gathered in the popular areas of Hongdae, Itaewon and Gangnam in Seoul.
The country’s peak season for autumn foliage trips has been cited as another concern for a rise in local infections.
As the pandemic is prolonged, health authorities will announce revised social distancing steps later in the day, four months after they made public the three-tier social distancing steps on June 28.
The revision aims to change the current social distancing steps applied across the country into new ones tailored to each region, as the public has asked for the revision of the nationwide steps due to their ineffectiveness.