Anchor: The government will expand free COVID-19 testing for everyone in South Korea amid concerns that a fourth wave of the pandemic could be imminent. Daily cases surged to a three-month high on Wednesday as sporadic clusters increased across the country.
Kim In-kyung has this report.
Report: Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said Wednesday that the government will offer free coronavirus testing to anyone regardless of symptoms or social distancing level at public health centers across the country.
During a government COVID-19 response meeting, Chung warned that if the country enters a fourth wave of the pandemic, a setback in the vaccination plan will be inevitable and the economy will be heavily impacted.
He said the government will do everything it can to prevent the fourth wave and unearth hidden cases swiftly by expanding the diagnostic tests.
Up until now, the government had only allowed free testing for people displaying symptoms or when social distancing reached the third-highest level in the country's five-tier scheme.
The decision comes as South Korea added 668 new COVID-19 infections throughout Tuesday, raising its accumulated caseload to 106-thousand-898.
It marks the most daily infections in about three months since 674 cases were reported on January 8. The last time the daily tally hovered over 600 was on February 18.
Over 60 percent of Tuesday's 653 local cases came from the greater metro area, with 196 in Seoul, 173 in Gyeonggi Province and 44 in Incheon. Other parts of the nation added 240 cases.
Four more deaths have been reported, bringing the coronavirus death toll to one-thousand-756.
Kim In-kyung, KBS World Radio News.