The daily COVID-19 increase in South Korea remained in the 500s for the third day on Thursday, suggesting that the latest wave of the epidemic has begun to slow down.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency(KDCA) said as of 12:00 a.m., 524 additional people tested positive, raising the country's cumulative total to 70-thousand-728.
The latest epidemic started in mid-November and the daily surge peaked at over one-thousand last month, before dropping to between 400 and 700 this week.
Out of the 524 new cases, 496 were local infections, 317 of which came from the Seoul metropolitan area.
More than 600 cases linked to a religious sect in the southeastern city of Sangju have so far been reported, and the infection cluster at a correctional facility in eastern Seoul has led to over one-thousand-200 cases.
With the current Level Two-point-Five distancing in the capital region and Level Two in other areas set to end on Sunday, the government plans to announce whether it will extend or adjust the levels on Saturday.