UPDATE 1-S.Korea to consider new curbs as coronavirus cases hit 9-month high

06 Dec 2020 / 09:01 H.

    (Adds details of new social distancing measures)

    By Josh Smith

    SEOUL, Dec 6 (Reuters) - South Korea on Sunday reported 631 new coronavirus cases, the highest in nine months, ahead of an expected government decision on whether to further tighten social distancing curbs as health authorities struggle to contain a third wave of outbreaks.

    After implementing tighter restrictions on Saturday, the government is to decide on Sunday whether to impose new measures in a country that had seen initial success through aggressive contact tracing and other steps.

    The new cases bring the country's tally to 37,546, with 545 deaths, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported.

    Many of the recent cases have been centered in the capital city of Seoul, which on Saturday launched unprecedented curfews, shuttering most establishments and shops at 9 p.m. (1200 GMT) for two weeks and cutting back public transportation operations by 30% in the evenings.

    (Reporting by Josh Smith; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Chris Reese)

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