South Korea's daily COVID-19 cases fell back to below 500 on Friday that has led health authorities to relax virus curbs, reported Yonhap News Agency.
The country added 469 more COVID-19 cases, including 445 locally transmitted infections, raising the total caseload to 77,395, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The figure was down from 497 on Thursday. The daily new cases stood at an average of 430 over the past week, rising from the 300s the previous week, due to clusters traced to religious education facilities across the country, reported Yonhap News Agency.
The lower number of cases was due to fewer tests amid cold weather, though there is a continued rise in clusters tied to religious facilities.
Of some 2,000 potential virus cases related to 40 religious education facilities affiliated with the IM missionary society based in Gwangju, 329 kilometres south of Seoul, a total of 344 confirmed cases were reported from seven facilities, said the health authorities.
Due to a continued rise in cluster infections from religious facilities, authorities pushed back their decision on whether to extend or ease the current social distancing measures to the weekend in those areas.
Meanwhile, Health authorities said they will make public their adjusted social distancing measure Sunday, which will be applied next month. The announcement is expected to include special steps to curb the spread of the virus during the Lunar New Year holiday slated for February 11-13, reported Yonhap News Agency.
Level 2.5, the second-highest in the country's five-tier scheme, has been applied in the greater Seoul area since early December, with Level 2 in other areas. Bans on gatherings of five or more people have been in place across almost the entire country.
The number of deaths due to the pandemic is 1,399. The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries moved up 487 to 66,503, reported Yonhap News Agency.
( With inputs from ANI )
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