It was the second day in a row with fewer than 200, but the authorities say it’s too early for people to let their guards down because of the existing cluster infections that continue to grow and the new ones still being discovered.
The biggest cluster in the recent surge, at Sarang Jeil Church in Seoul’s northern Seongbuk-gu District, yielded 13 more cases on Friday, bringing the tally to 1,152.
And among the new clusters is a Kimchi factory in Cheongyang County, where a total of 22 cases were confirmed as of Friday, including two people from the same family and someone who came in contact with an employee.
In the city of Daegu, a sales meeting for a health food product led to the confirmation of 25 new infections.
With the weekend coming, the authorities pleaded for people to adhere to the social distancing guidelines.
“It’s almost the weekend again. Please understand that we must not carelessly take risks again, having already experienced the impact they can have. Knowing the risks, we cannot do this again.”
Because of the severity of the situation, the education ministry has decided to keep most school closed.
The plan had been to have online-only classes in the Seoul area only until the 11th of this month, but it’s been extended another week until the 20th.
High schools in the area will only operate at one-third capacity, with seniors allowed to attend in person so they can get ready for their upcoming college entrance exams.
In the rest of the country, also for another week, schools will stay at one-third capacity at kindergartens, elementary, and middle schools but high schools will be at two-thirds.
As of Friday, the total number of cases in South Korea to date comes to 20,842.
With two new deaths reported, the death toll is 331.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News