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South Korea Officials Warn of 2nd COVID-19 Wave as Seoul Sees New Cases 

People walk on a shopping district in Seoul, South Korea, June 11, 2020.
People walk on a shopping district in Seoul, South Korea, June 11, 2020.

South Korean Health officials are warning action must be taken to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 in that country after a resurgence of infections in the Seoul region.

South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday reported 45 new cases. Most new cases have been in the Seoul metropolitan area, where health authorities have struggled to trace transmissions.

At a news briefing Wednesday, CDC Director Jung Eun-kyeong said the recent consistent chain of transmissions is spreading in Seoul, and if they cannot cut them off, they cannot rule out a massive outbreak. She noted the transmission chains started popping up after the country began easing restrictions.

Government officials are resisting calls to reimpose stronger social distancing measures out of concern they'll hurt a fragile economy.

But the CDC is warning that transmissions are getting harder to track because the virus is spreading quickly and unpredictably as people increase their activities and practice less social distancing.

Health Ministry senior official Yoon Tae-ho says the only way to stop the chain of coronavirus breakouts in the capital area is adherence to prevention and distancing rules.

The health officials pleaded with the public to return to wearing masks, strictly follow social distancing rules and avoid large gatherings and other public activity.