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South Korea's COVID surge set to slow BOK's push to raise rates

Country to impose highest level of social distancing rules in greater Seoul

People wait in line for a COVID-19 test at a site temporarily set up at a public health center in Seoul on Friday.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- South Korea's tightening of COVID curbs amid a surge in infections is set to undermine its central bank's drive toward rate hikes.

The country will impose its highest level of social distancing rules in greater Seoul for two weeks from Monday, as new cases hit a record high of 1,316 on Friday, up from 1,275 a day earlier. Health authorities said that a nightly curfew will be effective under the Level 4 social distancing regulations in the capital region, banning three or more people from gathering after 6 p.m. in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province.

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