South Korea ordered schools to close from Tomorrow in the capital Seoul and surrounding areas as it battles its worst outbreak of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, surpassing the previous peak in February.
Schools in the capital region would move classes online until the end of the month, in the latest ratcheting up of social distancing measures which so far have failed to reverse the spike in infections. The school closure is a step towards the imposition of Phase 3 social distancing rules, a move that would essentially lock down Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said such a step required careful review, as the government comes under mounting pressure to do more to contain the rise of infections.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) today reported 718 new coronavirus cases, down from the record daily increase of 1,030 a day earlier. South Korea’s total infections now stands at 43,484, with 587 deaths.