Our top story this lunch time.
South Korea has reported over 600 new COVID-19 cases for two days straight.
Given the seriousness of the situation, the country’s health minister even went so far to say that the capital is facing a “wartime situation.”
South Korea recorded 615 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday.
Most of those came from the capital region with 422 from Seoul, Gyeonggi-do Province and Incheon.
Health minster Park Neung-hoo at a meeting on Monday said that even though fewer people were tested over the weekend, the number is still high.
He stressed that the capital region is in a ‘wartime situation’ and said that the daily caseload could reach over a thousand in about a week or two.
Starting on Tuesday, strengthened nationwide distancing measures will be applied for three weeks.
The capital region will be under level 2.5, which will ban gatherings of more than 50 people.
It also means that 130-thousand businesses will be shut across the capital area and 460-thousand businesses will have limited operations.
Bars, singing rooms and indoor sports facilities are to be shut while supermarkets, malls and hair salons can only stay open until 9 PM.
The rest of the country will be at level 2.
This means places like singing rooms and sports facilities can open until 9 PM and gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed.
The health minister warned that if the spread can’t be stopped at this strengthened level, it could lead to an explosive increase in cases and crash the medical system.

Reporter : tommyjang@arirang.com

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