South Korea has re-on Thursday a series of measures to fight against the coronavirus, then they were to be eased, following the discovery of a series of foci of contagion, sparking fears of a new epidemic wave in the country.
The country recorded Thursday, its highest increase of new infections in nearly two months, with an outbreak in a warehouse of a trade company in the line near Seoul – metropolitan area is very densely populated.
“We have decided to strengthen quarantine measures in the metropolitan area for two weeks, starting from tomorrow until the 14th of June,” announced the minister of Health Park Neug-hoo.
“The next two weeks will be crucial to prevent the spread of infection in the metropolitan area”, he continued. “We will have to return to the strict social distancing if we fail” and if the country registers more than 50 new cases daily for at least seven consecutive days.
South Korea has been the last few months built in model for a very effective response when the COVID-19 has spread on its territory. She had eased since may 6, very strongly the restrictions.
The museum, park and art galleries will have to close their doors for two weeks, and businesses are encouraged to re-introduce the flexibility in the workplace, explained the minister.
Citizens are also cautioned to avoid gatherings and places, including bars and restaurants.
The places of worship are called upon to apply strictly the safety instructions. On the other hand, the timing of the reopening of schools is not changed.
On Thursday, the authorities announced 79 new infections – the highest figure since the 5 April , bringing the total of registered cases in the country to 11 344. Most of the new cases have been reported in the Seoul metropolitan area.
Sixty-nine of them relate to persons who have attended a warehouse of the company e-commerce Coupang to Bucheon in the suburbs of Seoul, according to the Centers koreans for control and disease prevention (KCDC).
4100 people in solitary confinement
About 4100 people, employees and visitors to the warehouse are in voluntary isolation, and 80% have already been tested, according to the vice-minister of Health, Kim Gang-lip which has assured: “we expect that the number of cases related to the warehouse continues to climb today while we finish the tests.”
The recent lifting of certain restrictions, had seen places like churches and museums reopen, and the schools, while the professional seasons of baseball or football could finally begin, but closed to the public.
South Korea was the end of February the second is the most affected country in the world by the pandemic, after China, where it appeared in December 2019. But the government managed to regain control of the situation through a strategy very thorough testing and tracing of contacts of infected people.