Level 2 social distancing extended for another week

Sep 21, 2020, 08:03 am

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Pedestrians walk around the streets of Myeongdong in central Seoul on Sept. 20, 2020./ Source: Yonhap News

AsiaToday reporter Lee Sun-young

The government on Sunday decided to extend nationwide Level Two social distancing guidelines for another week. Although the country is seeing the number of daily new infections falling, health authorities said the decision was made in light of a possible surge in new infections as cluster infections as well as untraceable cases still persist ahead of the Chuseok holiday. The government will classify the Chuseok holiday starting from September 28 to October 11 as a ‘special quarantine period’ and strengthen prevention measures.

The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters announced the decision during a regular press briefing after their meeting. Under the Level Two social distancing measure, eleven types of high-risk facilities, including nightclubs and karaoke bars will remain closed. Health authorities said it is still too soon to feel relieved since there are many risk factors although daily new cases in regions outside the metropolitan area slowed down to the range of 20 to 40 over the past week.

“Sporadic clusters continue in many provincial areas. When considering the proportion of cases whose route of transmission is being traced and the ratio of people under management within quarantine network, there is a high possibility that latent infections will exist in the local community,” Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said. “There are still many patients in the metropolitan area and the upcoming Chuseok holiday, a tradition that entails mass movements of people and family gatherings, are among the major concerns,” he said. 

“Considering that only a week is remaining before Chuseok, the risk of loosening the distancing guidelines far outweigh the benefits it may bring,” Park said. 

Meanwhile, the country added 82 more COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the total caseload to 22,975, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

#Level 2 social distancing #Chuseok 
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