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South Korea charges ahead to break COVID-19 shackles

Nation sees coronavirus as endemic despite sky-high infection numbers

The streets of Seoul's trendy Hongdae neighborhood bustle in early April.

SEOUL -- Young people clamoring with their arms around one another's shoulders and drunks staggering in the middle of the road. These are some of the lively scenes seen on the nighttime streets of the South Korean capital for the first time in more than two years.

But the revelers will need to be careful to grab the last train back home, for taxis are scarce. The number of drivers has fallen by 30% or so, and the pandemic forced many to switch to food delivery.

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