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The Latest: S Korea orders nationwide pandemic restrictions

Public officials disinfect pews as a precaution against the coronavirus at the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported new infections from practically all major cities nationwide, including Busan, Gwangju, Daejeon, Sejong and Daegu, a southeastern city that was the epicenter of a massive outbreak in late February and March. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SEOUL:- South Korea is banning large gatherings, shutting nightspots and churches, and removing fans from professional sports nationwide in an attempt to slow a resurgence of coronavirus infections.

Health Minister Park Neung-hoo announced the measures Saturday after officials reported 332 newly confirmed cases, marking the ninth straight day of triple-digit increases.

Most of the new cases were in the Seoul metropolitan area, which has been at the center of the viral surge of recent weeks. But infections were also reported in practically every major city and in towns across the country.

The government had already imposed the tighter restrictions in the capital region earlier this week, a move they resisted for months out of economic concerns. Park said it has become inevitable to expand the same measures nationwide with the virus spreading more broadly.

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