South Korea reported on Thursday its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since March, with a surge of new infections sparking fears of a major third wave.
Officials announced 583 new cases after several weeks of fresh infections ranging between around 100 and 300.
The latest cases have mostly been clusters at offices, schools, gyms and small gatherings in the greater Seoul area, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.
New infections also emerged within the military, including dozens of newly enlisted soldiers at a boot camp, prompting the defense ministry to bolster its anti-virus measures.
"We are now in a situation where virus outbreaks can happen at any place," health minister Park Neung-hoo said.
The government tightened social distancing rules in the capital and the surrounding regions this week as authorities scrambled to contain the spread of the virus.
The measures include closing nightclubs and bars and restricting the number of visitors at 100 at weddings and funerals.
Cafes are only allowed to serve takeaways and all restaurants must close by 9 p.m., with only deliveries permitted afterwards.
Thursday's figures take the total number of recorded cases in the country to more than 32,000.