Coronavirus: South Korea shuts schools, others amid fresh spike in cases

Health officials wearing protective gear as they spray disinfectant to help reduce the spread of the new coronavirus in a class at a high school in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

A fresh increase in Coronavirus cases has forced the South Korean government to close hundreds of schools, museums and art galleries, days after the country eased the lockdown.

It was gathered that the country has recorded 177 new COVID-19 cases in three days, posing a threat to many of the gains made in a nation considered to be among the world’s few success stories during the pandemic.

“We need to get back to work, but there is no going back to normal, even if we wanted to,” says independent charity.

A total of 58 new coronavirus cases were reported on Friday, all in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area.

That followed the country’s biggest jump in coronavirus cases in more than 50 days on Thursday, when it was reported 79 more people had become infected.

Nationwide restrictions had been lifted on 6 May, but the government has responded to the general increase by shutting public facilities such as parks, museums and state-run theatres in the metropolitan area over the next two weeks to slow the spread.

Health Minister Park Neung-hoo advised residents in the metropolitan area to avoid unnecessary gatherings and urged companies to keep sick employees off work.

The new figures announced by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brought national totals to 11,402 infections and 269 deaths.

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