South Korea bans gatherings of 5 people in Seoul and surrounding areas from Wednesday

Gatherings of five or more people will be banned in the greater Seoul area starting on Wednesday in a bit to slow the spread of the coronavirus, South Korean authorities have said.

The governments of Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and Incheon, where 51 million residents live, announced the assembly restriction measure on Monday. The new administrative order comes before the upcoming peak season for year-end events. It takes effect at midnight Tuesday and ends on January 3.

“We cannot overcome the current crisis without reducing cluster infections that are spreading through private gatherings with families, friends and colleagues,” Seoul’s acting mayor, Seo Jung-hyup, told reporters. “This is the last chance to break the spread.”

Local government data has revealed that restaurants and similar venues accounted for 41.4 percent of cluster infections in Seoul over the past four weeks, followed by offices, places of worship and medical facilities and nursing homes.

Meetings of four or fewer people indoors or outdoors will be allowed in the greater Seoul area, which is currently under Level 2.5, the second highest in the five-tier social distancing alert system. This level bans gatherings of 50 or more people. Under the highest Level 3, gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited. The new ban will be even stronger.

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The Seoul area accounts for about 70 percent of the country’s daily coronavirus cases, and the number of new infections rose by an all-time high of 473 on Sunday.

There will be no lockdown across all of South Korea, although authorities registered more than 1,000 daily confirmed cases for five consecutive days during the past week. On Monday, this number fell below 1,000 after fewer tests were made over the weekend.

As of Sunday, there were 24 new Covid-19 deaths, and the country’s total now stands at 698, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

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Source:RT World News

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