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South Korea eases some COVID-19 restrictions

Prime minister warns new omicron variant spreading in country, urges people to avoid big gatherings

South Korea eases some COVID-19 restrictions


South Korea on Friday eased some pandemic restrictions as daily infections in the country decreased from 7,000 last month to 4,000 in January.

The government raised the limit for private gatherings from four people to six, Yonhap News Agency reported.

However, night time curfew on restaurants and cafes will continue for the next three weeks.

During the past 24 hours, South Korea reported 4,542 new cases, raising the caseload to 683,566, according to the Health Ministry.

With 49 more fatalities, the death toll has risen to 6,259.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum warned that the new omicron variant is spreading in the country.

"The omicron variant is spreading quickly especially from last week and is on the verge of becoming the dominant variant as it accounted for 20% of domestic cases two days ago," the agency quoted Kim as saying

"I request people to restrain from their hometown visits and meetings with relatives and families during the Lunar New Year holiday period."

So far, over 84.5% people of the country's 52 million population have been fully vaccinated.

* Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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