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South Korea locks down amid Delta surge

Frank Smith
Press TV, Seoul

South Korea has imposed its strictest Covid-19 prevention measures as it battles a fourth wave of the virus with record numbers of daily cases over 1,000 for the past week. More than 50 percent of recent new cases have been the more contagious Delta variant. While officials have advised people to stay at home, most businesses, cafes and restaurants remain open.

The government has issued a number of restrictions and guidelines, including banning gatherings of more than two people - other than family - after 6 pm.

Bae Young-hwan and his wife operate a small seafood restaurant in Incheon, just outside of Seoul. He diligently disinfects his restaurant, adhering to social distancing protocols and other government guidelines. He says a lot of businesses in the neighborhood are just hanging on.

As many countries around the world are now opening up, South Korea is under more pressure from a restive public to respond more effectively to the outbreak. Young people have been especially critical, as they will wait months for their shots amid shortages of vaccine supplies.

South Korea had planned to achieve herd immunity by November this year. Currently 12 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, with health officials emphasizing the importance of the next two months in containing the recent wave of infections.

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