June 09, 2020 10:20
Health officials are warning of a second wave of coronavirus infections after the cumulative number of infections in Seoul surpassed 1,000. The latest surge originated in warehouses, churches and gyms where people often wear no face masks or come too close to each other.
According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the cumulative number of people in the capital who tested positive for coronavirus reached 1,014 as of Monday, 377 of them over the past month alone and the steepest monthly increase since the first case was reported in Seoul on Jan. 24.
Small-scale group infections were reported in Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul and Incheon west of the capital over the past month. Some 803 cases out of the total 996 new cases reported in May came from the Seoul Metropolitan area.
Jung Eun-kyeong, the chief of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, "The number of confirmed cases is suddenly surging from one a day to 15 and 20, which shows the rapid spread of coronavirus."
All students returned to school by Monday as fifth, sixth and seventh graders became the last batch to be allowed back. Experts said proper prevention will determine the success or failure of efforts to stave off a second wave.
"There seem to be many patients who are showing no symptoms," Jung said, "We're concerned about another resurgence traced to various locations in the densely populated metropolitan area."
The government has stockpiled 350,000 diagnostic kits in order to prepare for the threat.
Meanwhile, Korea reported 38 new cases by Tuesday, 33 of them in the Seoul metropolitan area, bringing the total to 11,852.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com