Authorities in South Korea, on May 13 said that there were no immediate plans on reinstating stringent social distancing rules despite a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases. This comes as nearly 119 new cases linked to a Seoul night club were reported in the previous few days. As of now, South Korea has reported a total of 10,962 cases and 259 fatalities.
Country’s Vice Health minister Kim Gang-lip reportedly said that re-imposing social distancing rules was unlikely as long as daily number of COVID-19 cases remained below 50 and officials were able to trace 95 per cent of all infections. “For now, we will monitor how the current transmissions go and review whether we should reconsider our distancing policy,” he added while speaking at a media briefing.
Meanwhile, night club outbreak in Seoul has prompted officials to shut some nightclubs and bars as well as delay reopening of schools. However, the government has stood by its decision and reopened offices, public centres and sports centres. According to Korea’s centres for disease control and prevention, 26 new OCVID-19 positive cases were reported on May 12 out of which 21 were related to the nightclub outbreak.
According to reports, a cluster has emerged in the capital's Itaewon entertainment district over the last few days which raised serious concerns of the second wave of infections. Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon reportedly said nearly 7,272 people in Seoul have been tested in relation to the nightclub cluster. He added that more than 36 per cent of cases are asymptomatic and the rate of spread is very high and warned the people of a probable second wave of infections.
According to reports, nearly 10,905 people were in the vicinity of Itaewon clubs last week. The authorities sent a text message to all the numbers identified and asked them to get tested. Seoul also managed a secured a list of nearly 500 people who were in the affected area through credit card records and urged them to get tested and self-quarantine. Park reportedly said that the city authorities are now conducting random checks of clubs, and entertainment venues to enforce a shutdown.