The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said 1,436 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the capital over the past 24 hours, the highest since the start of the pandemic early last year.
Of them, 1,432 were local infections, and four were imported cases.
The total caseload reached 134,949 in the city with a population of more than 9.58 million. Eight deaths were reported, raising its death toll from the disease to 898.
Wednesday’s tally is far higher than the previous record of 1,221 cases set on Sept. 24. The number is also up 590 from the previous day and up 463 from a week before.
Nationwide, new cases spiked to 3,187, raising the total caseload to 402,775. It marked the second-largest daily cases after 3,270 cases were reported on Sept. 25.
The surge in infections came two weeks after the country began implementing the “living with COVID-19” scheme on Nov. 1, easing social distancing restrictions for a gradual return to pre-pandemic normalcy.
The average daily new cases in Seoul since that day stood at 919.4, up 42.7 percent from 644.2 a month before.
The increase is fanning concerns about a possible shortage of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients.
Of 345 hospital beds in the city reserved for serious cases, 278, or 80.6 percent, had been filled as of midnight Tuesday, up 10 percentage points from a week before, according to health authorities.
The occupancy rate had already passed the threshold of 75 percent set by the authorities as one of the conditions for enforcing an emergency response plan and halting the “living with COVID-19 scheme.” (Yonhap)Internet Explorer Channel Network