Seoul: South Korea has recorded more than 500 new coronavirus cases for the first time in about eight months.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Thursday said the 583 additional cases in the past 24 hours took the national tally to 32,318, including 515 deaths.
South Korea has been experiencing a spike in new infections since it relaxed stringent social distancing rules last month. To deal with the latest resurgence, the country on Tuesday reimposed tough distancing guidelines in Seoul and some other areas.
Government records show that 402 of the 583 newly reported cases were found in the Seoul metropolitan area, where half of the country's 51 million people reside. Most other parts of the country also registered new cases.
South Korea's caseload peaked in February and March with the world's largest number of cases after mainland China, most of them tied to a religious sect. Last summer, the country suffered a second major outbreak, mostly in the greater Seoul area.
Officials say the latest bout is more worrisome because many clusters are linked to schools, private tutoring academics, offices, hospitals and family gatherings.