September 01, 2020 10:06
Streets in Seoul were eerily empty again when a virtual curfew kicked in at 9 p.m. Monday as bars and restaurants shut under new lockdown rules.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Monday that people who are spotted wearing their face masks on their chins or just covering their mouths will be fined the same as those who fail to wear one.
Jung Eun-kyeong, the chief of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, "Severing the chains of transmission this week by strictly adhering to social distancing will be crucial in managing the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic."
New infections increased by some 10,000 over the last 150 days, and health authorities said the sources of transmission in 22.7 percent of new cases over the last two weeks were untraceable.
As of Tuesday morning, Korea reported 235 new cases, bringing to the cumulative total to 20,182. The KCDC said the number of patients in critical or serious condition rose to over 100, an increase from just nine on Aug. 13.
The sharp rise was attributed to a growing number of elderly patients affiliated with the Presbyterian Sarang Jeil church in northern Seoul, which has emerged as a new hotbed of infections. Among the 248 new cases detected on Aug. 30, 37.1 percent were over 60 years old.
Meanwhile, a child in a kindergarten in Gyeongsan, North Gyeongsang Province tested positive for coronavirus on Aug. 23, but no other infection was detected among the 171 children and 33 staff there. The kindergarten credited its policy of mandatory face masks, frequent hand washing and social distancing.
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