September 27—7pm—3,269 new cases on Saturday
Infections: 301,172 | Cleared: 268,140 | Under treatment: 30,582 | Deaths: 2,450
(As of Sep 26, 12:00am. Source: Ministry of Health and Welfare)
On Saturday, September 25, the number of new confirmed cases hit a record high of 3,269. In the week of September 19 to 25 the average number of new cases per day rose 12.8% from the previous week. There were three times as many cases in Greater Seoul than in the rest of the country. The KDCA pointed to the delta variant and the increase in population movement and contact during the Chuseok holidays as the major factors behind the increase. But the good news is that the number of severely ill patients needing intensive care has decreased over the same period thanks in part to the continuing vaccination program. By September 26, 74.1% of the population had received their first dose of a vaccine and 45.2% had finished their vaccine regimen.
The KDCA warned that, if the current spike in cases is due to the long Chuseok holidays, the numbers may continue to rise for the next week or two. The authorities are encouraging everyone to cancel or postpone private gatherings for at least the next two weeks.
September 13—6:30pm—Continuing the vaccine rollout
Infections: 272,982 | Cleared: 244,459 | Under treatment: 26,164 | Deaths: 2,359
(As of Sep 12, 12:00am. Source: Ministry of Health and Welfare)
In the past week, the number of daily new Covid cases has fluctuated to some extent, rising from 1,375 on September 6 to 2,049 on September 9, but has fortunately dropped again. Meanwhile, the vaccination rollout is well on track. By September 12, 64.5% of the population had received their first dose of a vaccine and 39% had completed the regimen.
The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters has stated that when 90% of the elderly (over 60 years of age) and 80% of all adults have completed their vaccinations it may be possible to gradually loosen restrictions and return to some normalcy, though it’s not likely that we will get to go completely mask free just yet.
September 6—7:20pm—Staying at Level 4 through Chuseok
Infections: 260,403 | Cleared: 232,334 | Under treatment: 25,748 | Deaths: 2,321
(As of Sep 5, 12:00am. Source: Ministry of Health and Welfare)
The average number of new daily cases dipped slightly this week (Aug 29 – Sep 4) to 1,671, from 1,702 last week. As of September 5, 58.4% of the population had received their first dose of a vaccine and 34.6% had completed the regimen.
The KDCA announced yesterday that Social Distancing Level 4 for the greater Seoul region and Level 3 for the rest of the country will stay in place for the next four weeks, until October 3, which covers the upcoming Chuseok holidays. This means the four-person limit to private gatherings before 6pm, and two-person limit after 6pm, will also continue. But the new announcement also affords some exceptions. Restaurants and cafes in Level 4 areas may stay open until 10pm, an hour later than before. Private gatherings of up to six people for Level 4 and eight people for Level 3 are allowed if the gathering includes four who are fully vaccinated. During the Chuseok holidays (September 17–23), even in Level 4 areas, family gatherings of up to eight people will be allowed if four of them have completed their vaccinations.