South Korea reports 1,600 new COVID cases and outbreak on military ship

Women walk on an empty street amid tightened social distancing rules due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Seoul, South Korea, July 12, 2021. REUTERS / Heo Ran

SEOUL, July 15 (Reuters) – South Korea on Thursday reported 1,600 new cases of COVID-19, a slight drop from the previous day’s record number as it struggles to contain an outbreak aboard an anti-piracy military vessel operating abroad.

The country on Wednesday tightened social distancing rules across much of the country, when it reported a record 1,615 infections, to fight its worst coronavirus outbreak. Read more

Outbreaks were previously largely concentrated in the capital Seoul and neighboring areas, but cases have spread to non-metropolitan areas, adding to concerns about the highly contagious Delta variant and a slowdown in vaccine deployment.

There has not yet been a significant increase in hospitalizations or deaths, with a death rate of 1.18% and the number of severe cases at 167 on Wednesday, well below levels seen during the previous peak in late December .

Meanwhile, authorities have worked to contain an outbreak at a South Korean military unit on anti-piracy patrol in and around the Gulf of Aden, where at least six servicemen have tested positive for the coronavirus, reported Yonhap News Agency citing the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Soldiers and crew who developed symptoms have been isolated, while the unit will test some 300 unvaccinated service members on board.

So far, South Korea has recorded 173,511 cases and 2,050 deaths. Only 30.8% of its 52 million inhabitants have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Twelve percent were fully immunized.

Report by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Raju Gopalakrishnan

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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