Social Distancing Crumbles Amid Slowdown in Infections

  • By Bae Jun-yong

    April 07, 2020 12:27

    Korea reported 47 more coronavirus infections on Monday, raising the total to 10,284.

    It was the first time in 46 days that the number of new cases dropped below 50, but increasing numbers of people were caught violating self-quarantine orders last weekend.

    Across the country, 13.54 million people headed outdoors last weekend to enjoy the warm weather, up 290,000 compared to two weeks ago when the government started a stringent social-distancing campaign.

    Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said Monday, "I don't even want to imagine it, but if we see a surge in infections in the capital region, we might experience the kind of crisis that is happening in many Western countries."

    The warning came two days after the government set a goal of keeping the number of new infections below 50 a day.

    People wait for a bus at Incheon International Airport on Monday. /Yonhap

    The government analyzed people's movements based on big data provided by SK Telecom and found that 13.54 million people left their homes last Saturday, up by 520,000 compared to the previous weekend and by around 30 percent since the end of February, when infections surged.

    People seem to have tired of social-distancing, but officials urged them to stay away from each other and stay indoors.

    Meanwhile, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the total confirmed cases of coronavirus stood at 10,331 with 192 linked deaths as of Tuesday morning.

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