Asia Pacific

S.Korea reports more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases, highest daily tally yet - Yonhap

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People wait in line to get coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test at a coronavirus testing site in Seoul, South Korea, July 15, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

SEOUL, Aug 10 (Reuters) - South Korea recorded more than 2,000 new coronavirus infections in the last 21 hours, Yonhap News Agency reported on Tuesday, an almost 50 percent increase from the previous day and a new record high.

By 9 p.m. (1200 GMT) on Tuesday, South Korea had logged 2,021 new coronavirus cases for the day so far, Yonhap reported, citing health authorities and local governments. This compares to 1,384 new cases registered by 9 p.m. on the previous day.

Yonhap said 1,380 new infections were from the Seoul metropolitan area. The latest coronavirus death toll stood at 2,134 on Monday.

South Korea is struggling with its worst COVID-19 outbreak yet. Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol apologised on Monday for COVID-19 vaccine shortages and shipment delays. read more

He said that U.S. drugmaker Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) had informed the South Korean government that it would deliver less than half the 8.5 million doses it had planned to ship in August.

This adds pressure on South Korea where only 15% of the population of 52 million have been fully vaccinated, and 45% have received at least one dose of vaccine. The government's target is for 70% to have received at least one shot by September.

South Korea made vaccines available to all adults over the age of 18 for the first time on Monday, with the rollout using Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines to start on Aug. 26. read more

Meanwhile, the government extended the toughest social distancing curbs imposed on the Seoul metropolitan area so far by at least two weeks. These include a ban on social gatherings of more than two people after 6 p.m.

Tighter regulations for outside the metropolitan area have also been extended. read more

Reporting by Joori Roh; editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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