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S.Korea extends coronavirus social distancing in Seoul region

SEOUL, Jan 2 (Reuters) - South Korea will extend unprecedented social distancing rules in Seoul and neighbouring areas until Jan. 17, a health official said on Saturday, including a ban on gatherings larger than four people.

Kwon Deok-cheol told a briefing that the measures were necessary to reduce a prolonged surge in infections that has led to a spike in deaths.

The country reported 824 new cases as of midnight on Friday, down from 1,029 a day before. (Reporting by Josh Smith; Editing by Kim Coghill)