South Korea sets record COVID-19 cases as prison reports major outbreak
South Korea reported a record 1,097 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, including an outbreak in a Seoul prison that infected 185 as the country’s latest wave of COVID-19 worsens.
With daily infections over 1,000 for a fifth consecutive day, some medical experts criticised the government as being slow to introduce tighter social distancing rules.
South Korea’s aggressive tracing and testing early in the pandemic had made the country a global success story when many nations saw soaring infections, prompting wide lockdowns.
But the recent surge, stemming mostly from widespread clusters rather than the large, isolated outbreaks of the previous waves, has heightened concerns as the country runs short of hospital beds.
A prison in southeastern Seoul recorded a major outbreak, with 184 inmates and one worker infected, a Justice Ministry official said.
Conservative former president Lee Myung-bak, who is in the prion after being convicted of corruption, tested negative for virus, the official said.
About 61 people at a nursing home in the city of Cheongju contracted the virus, Yonhap news agency said.