The Latest: With new curbs in Seoul, S. Korea outbreak grows

South Korea has confirmed 1,615 new COVID-19 patients, a new domestic record for daily cases, as authorities struggle to curb a viral resurgence that has placed its capital region under the toughest distancing rules

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has confirmed 1,615 new COVID-19 patients, a new domestic record for daily cases, as authorities struggle to curb a viral resurgence that has placed its capital region under the toughest distancing rules.

The newly reported cases Wednesday took the country’s total to 171,911 with 2,048 deaths.

Senior health official Lee Ki-Il told reporters 1,179 of the new cases came from the Seoul metropolitan area, marking the first time the capital region surpassed 1,000 daily cases since the pandemic began.

Lee says the recently enforced stringent distancing rules need at least a week to display effects. He urges the public to refrain from travelling or attending nonessential gatherings and stay at home until next week.

Private gatherings of three or more people after 6 p.m. were banned in the Seoul area as of Monday. Nightclubs and other high-risk nightlife facilities have also been ordered to shut down for two weeks.

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MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:

— Daily cases in U.S. double over recent weeks, driven by holiday gatherings amid slowing vaccinations

— Fired vaccinations official says Tennessee leaders put politics over children’s health

— Sri Lanka’s economy in crisis after pandemic paralyzed tourism

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County is reporting the fifth straight day of more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases.

Health officials warned Tuesday that the more contagious delta variant of the virus continues to spread rapidly among unvaccinated people in the state.

Los Angeles County is home to a quarter of California’s 40 million people. County officials reported new cases totaling 1,103 for the previous 24 hours. County officials said the five-day average of cases is 1,095 — a jump of more than 500% in just one month.

The state, meanwhile, reported 3,256 newly confirmed coronavirus infections — the highest one-day total since early March.

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SYDNEY — Officials in Sydney say Australia’s largest city will remain in lockdown for at least five weeks due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus.

New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Wednesday that Sydney’s 5 million people will remain locked down until at least July 30, two weeks longer than had been planned.

The extension comes after 97 new infections were reported Wednesday in the latest 24-hour period, including 24 who had been infectious in the community.

Berejiklian says the daily tally of people who are infectious while in the community will have to be close to zero before the lockdown can end.

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