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S. Korea reports 1,618 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday while vaccination rates pick up pace
Updated: 2021-10-16 14:37:23 KST

The vaccination rate continues to rise.
As of Saturdaynearly 64 percent of the South Korean population have been fully vaccinatedbringing the country closer to the 70-percent mark.
Meanwhile, the number of new COVID-19 infections dropped.
Saturday's caseload stood at 1-thousand 6-hundred 18which was 66 less than what was reported yesterday.
All but 24 were locally transmittedof which nearly 80 percent were traced back to the greater Seoul area.

The drop in cases comes ahead of South Korea easing certain social gathering restrictions from Monday.
Until the end of this month, the greater Seoul area will remain under level four, and other regions at level three.
But, bigger gatherings will be allowed, and some businesses can stay open later.
In the greater Seoul area, up to eight people can meet, regardless of whether it's before or after 6 PM.
Of the eight, four have to be fully vaccinated.
Outside the capital, that number goes up to 10 peopleas long as six are fully vaccinated.
Restaurants and cafes can stay open until midnight outside the Seoul area.
Whereas study cafes, performance halls, and movie theaters will be the only businesses exempt from the 10pm curfew in the capital region.

These measures will work as a bridge before the country heads into its new "living with COVID-19" approach in November.
Authorities have also been ramping up efforts regarding booster shotsa key part of the new COVID-19 exit strategy.
The country started giving out Pfizer booster jabs on Tuesday to medical staff.
Additional vaccinations for high-risk groups like seniors aged 60 and above will begin on October 25th.
As of now, South Korea has decided to give out only mRNA vaccine booster shots like Pfizer and Moderna.
But this may change as advisers to the U.S. FDA recently approved Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen booster shots.
They recommended Pfizer and Moderna booster shots to older and high-risk people, and the Janssen booster shot to all of its recipients aged 18 and up.
Shin Ye-eun, Arirang News.
Reporter : graceshin@arirang.com