South Africa has seen sharp rise in infections since Omicron was first detected, health minister says – .

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South Africa has seen sharp rise in infections since Omicron was first detected, health minister says – .


A commuter walks past information boards posted to remind the public how to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Seoul on December 1, 2021 (Anthony Wallace / AFP / Getty Images)

South Korea will step up some of its virus-fighting measures in response to an increase in Covid-19 cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant, Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said on Friday during a briefing.

The move comes after the country already eased restrictions on November 1 in a bid to “get back to normal life.”

The country has reported six confirmed cases of Omicron, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

What are the new restrictions? For four weeks from December 6, gatherings will be limited to six people in the greater Seoul area and eight people for the rest of the country, regardless of their immunization status, Kwon said.

More places, including restaurants and cafes, will require people to be fully vaccinated or show a negative Covid-19 test result to enter. Previously, only gyms, clubs and bars required this mandate.

However, up to an unvaccinated person without a negative Covid-19 test result will be allowed to enter these facilities on their own or as part of a group where everyone meets the requirements.

From February, children between the ages of 12 and 18 will also need to be fully immunized or test negative to enter these facilities.

Spike in the cases: South Korea identified 4,944 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday, bringing its total to 462,555, according to KDCA.

The country currently has a record 736 critically hospitalized patients, while the death toll stands at 3,739.

83% of the population had received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine as of Friday, while just over 80% had been fully vaccinated, KDCA said.

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