South Korea reported 1,062 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, the second highest ever every day, as the government warned companies that it was unacceptable for them to try to avoid shutdown orders by cheating the system.
The daily number was over 1,000 for the third straight day for the first time, according to data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The committee in new cases has shaken a country that for several months has been held up as a mitigating success story. But despite the total increase to 47,515 infections, South Korea has only suffered 645 deaths.
While the government was hurting over whether to tighten social distancing, which would mean ordering 1.2 million companies to suspend operations, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said everyone had to follow the rules.
“There have been increased attempts to continue the business in an irregular manner by changing their specified type of business to slip through the government’s antivirus efforts,” Chung said at a government meeting.
“It can never be acceptable.”
Chung did not give any details but the media have reported that some bars are trying to beat the bans by leaving themselves as restaurants.
Chung said that given the burdens on business, “social consensus” was necessary for a decision to go for tighter rules.
An unprecedented wave in severe cases had strained the health care system, with only four chalk care beds available in the greater Seoul area as of Thursday, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
>> Coronavirus pandemic: South Korea is fighting the third wave of infections