South Korea on Friday reported over 1,200 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily infections reported since the pandemic outbreak in the country, the country’s Health Ministry said.

With 1,241 new cases and 17 more deaths in the past 24 hours, the country’s caseload reached 54,770 and the death toll hit 773, according to Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. So far, 38,048 people have recovered from the disease.

The country’s daily cases remained between 800 to 1,078 during the last week.

Last Monday, the government toughened its coronavirus restrictions in the capital Seoul and its surrounding areas and banned gatherings of five or more people to stem the spread of the virus.

The capital Seoul, neighboring Gyeonggi Province, and Incheon are already under level 2.5, the second-highest coronavirus restrictions where gatherings of 50 or more people are prohibited.

Earlier, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun called on the health authorities and local governments to respond “strictly” to violations of social distancing rules.

“A joint government monitoring team found through onsite inspections that there were still many places that were not following the antivirus measures properly,” Yonhap News Agency quoted the prime minister as saying.

He said there was a large outbreak at the Dongbu Detention Center in eastern Seoul, calling for increased efforts to prevent further outbreaks and find asymptomatic COVID-19 patients at such crowded facilities.

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