South Korea reported 40 new infections of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, the largest daily increase in over a month.
A majority of the new cases were detected in Seoul, where a cluster of infections has been recently linked to reopened bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues in the densely populated capital.
The last time the country’s daily caseload was this high was April 8, when the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 53 new cases of COVID-19.
South Korea now has a total of 11,265 confirmed cases with 269 deaths.
The country once had the largest novel coronavirus outbreak outside China, where the virus first emerged, but appears to have brought it largely under control with an extensive “trace, test and treat” strategy. The number of new cases reported there has generally stayed low, but health authorities remain wary of cluster infections and imported cases.
Starting Wednesday, South Korea is requiring airplane passengers to wear face masks on all domestic and international flights as part of efforts to slow the spread of the virus while public activities increase. People must also wear masks when using the country’s public transportation and taxis.