S. Korea reports 386 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, projecting 600 by December

국내 코로나19 신규 확진자 386명...12월 초에는 600명 이상 예상

Daily COVID-19 infections in South Korea have been hovering above 3-hundred for four days in a row.
With the latest figure hitting the highest in nearly three months, authorities warn a third wave stronger than the first two could hit the country.
Lee Kyung-eun brings the updates.
South Korea reported 3-hundred-86 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.
It is the highest tally in nearly three months,... since the figure surpassed 4-hundred in late August the peak of the country's second wave.
Saturday also sets a grim milestone, marking the fourth straight day the number hovers above three-hundred.
It is only the second time the country has witnessed such a trend since the end of the second wave.
Health authorities say this puts the country on the verge of seeing a third wave,.. which could be stronger than the first and second one.
"The COVID-19 reproduction number is surpassing 1.5 in the country, meaning one infected patient can infect at least 1.5 persons. Given this trend, we are projecting daily infections to hover 4-hundred range next week,... and 6-hundred by December."
Of particular concern is the capital Seoul.
The city confirmed a record 1-hundred-54 new cases the biggest daily spike since the pandemic began.
At the center of the spread are cluster infections stemming from hospitals, schools, and small gatherings.
But the most active virus hotspot is a private academy in Noryangjin, where 69 patients are infected.
Health authorities have previously raised the social distancing level to 1-point-five for the hardest-hit capital area and the upper Gangwon-do Province.
But the continuing surge is prompting them to consider raising it higher to Level 2,... which could bring a major setback to the economy.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News