South Koreans line up for virus tests as cases surge

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Seoul (AP) – Long lines are snaking from coronavirus testing sites in the South Korean capital of Seoul on Saturday as the country reports 1,053 more confirmed cases, the fourth straight day over 1,000.

Thousands are taking advantage of free tests being offered temporarily in the capital area. The government is struggling to decide whether to increase social distancing to maximum levels, which officials fear would further shock the economy.

The new cases brought the national caseload to 48,570. Nearly 7,000 of those cases have been added over the past week.

Fourteen COVID-19 patients died in the past 24 hours to bring the death toll to 659. There are concerns fatalities will continue to rise because of a shortage of intensive care beds in the Seoul area, which is being hit hardest by the virus.