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South Korea and Germany blindsided by COVID-19 wave

Reduced vigilance opens door to infections despite mass testing and tracking

SEOUL/BERLIN -- South Korea and Germany, two countries once hailed for success in controlling the coronavirus pandemic, face a record wave of infections as public vigilance slips.

South Korea on Saturday exceeded 1,000 new infections in a day for the first time. The country's daily case count hovered around 100 in early November, but began climbing rapidly at midmonth. Chilly weather arrived in late November, and poor indoor ventilation due to the cold undermined a key plank in controlling the spread of the virus: avoiding closed spaces.

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