South Korea today tightened anti-Covid-19 measures in Seoul and surrounding areas as the number of new nCoV infections in the country rose to record highs.
Authorities decided to upgrade the community isolation rules to level two in the capital Seoul and neighboring Gyeonggi Province, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said at a meeting on August 15.
“We are facing an extremely dangerous situation that could lead to a new wave of nCoV infections if we cannot overcome this crisis,” he said.
A woman wearing a mask walks on a subway in Seoul on February 20. Photo: Reuters.
Korean health officials classify the rules of community segregation into three levels. Level three, the most stringent, requires schools and businesses to close completely.
Level two limits gathering indoors to less than 50 people and outdoors to less than 100, and prohibits spectators from coming to the field to watch sports matches. This is disappointing for fans who have just returned to the baseball and soccer fields after five weeks of postponement.
South Korea today recorded 166 nCoV infections, the highest one-day increase since early March, bringing the total number of cases across the country to 15,039, of which 305 were fatal. On August 13 and 14, the number of new infections also stood at three digits.
Of the 166 newly recorded cases, 155 cases were infected with the community, including 72 cases in Seoul and 67 cases in Gyeonggi province.
South Korea is one of the worst experienced early Covid-19 outbreaks outside of China but has managed to keep the situation under control thanks to its rapid traceability and extensive testing. They have not yet imposed a blockade like most European or American countries.