Anchor: The daily increase of COVID-19 cases in South Korea climbed back to the mid-100s amid continued sporadic group infections. The government, meanwhile, is expected to decide this weekend whether to further extend the Level Two social distancing currently in place nationwide.
Choi You Sun reports.
Report: The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency(KDCA) said as of 12:00 a.m. Thursday, 153 additional people tested positive for COVID-19, raising the country's accumulated total cases to 22-thousand-657.
The daily increase had been gradually declining to the low-100s since 176 reported last Friday, but it climbed back to the mid-100s amid continued sporadic group infections.
Out of 145 local infections reported Thursday, 121 were from the Seoul metro area. Capital region infections surged back up to triple digits after staying under 100 for the past five consecutive days.
At least ten new cases were reported in connection to a Kia Motors plant in Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi Province, and 20 have so far been confirmed linked to a nursing facility in the Gyeonggi provincial city of Icheon.
Authorities are particularly concerned about the fact that the route of infection remains unknown for over 25 percent of the cases.
Considering the ongoing situation and the upcoming Chuseok holiday, when tens of millions of people normally visit their hometowns, the government is set to decide whether to extend Level Two distancing at the national level when it expires.
Son Young-rae, senior official at the Central Disaster Management Headquarters, said a decision on whether to extend Level Two distancing outside the Seoul metro area, which is set to end on Sunday, will be made this weekend.
Level Two will remain in place for the metro area until September 27.
Referring to news of a sharp rise in lodging reservations for Chuseok despite the government's pleas for the public to refrain from visiting their hometowns during the holiday, authorities reiterated calls to avoid all travel as much as possible to prevent further spread of the virus.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.