Minister of the Interior and Safety Jeon Hae-cheol said Saturday the current COVID-19 situation is very similar to early December, when the third wave of the outbreak went into full swing.
In a virus response meeting, the minister said daily cases have been in the six-to seven-hundreds for four days and the reproduction rate is also up from one-point-07 last week to one-point-11 this week, raising concerns of further spread.
The rate refers to the number of infections caused by a single patient and a figure above one means the disease is spreading.
Jeon said a joint quarantine inspection squad will be launched involving the central government and 17 cities and provinces to clamp down on nine types of facilities especially vulnerable to infections including academies and religious and sports venues starting next week.
He said violations detected during the inspections will be sternly dealt with in accordance with the infectious disease prevention law including indemnity claims.
Regarding vaccinations, the minister said 105 more centers will be open next week to speed up the program.
As of Saturday, over one-point-14 million people have received their first shots.
One-hundred-31 cases of adverse reactions have been newly reported and authorities will look into possible links to vaccines.
The government also plans to announce on Sunday whether to resume AstraZeneca inoculations, which have been partially withheld due to concerns over blood clots.