South Korea warns people to be vigilant ahead of major holiday
SEOUL (SOUTH KOREA) – The South Korean government on Tuesday urged stricter social distancing as millions of people are preparing to travel for a major holiday. The appeal was made despite the slight dip in the number of new coronavirus cases.
According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), there were 39 new cases of the virus as of Monday midnight, marking the fifth straight day of double-digit cases. The tally of infections has gone up to 23,699, with 407 fatalities.
The figures came a day after the tally dipped to its lowest since fresh clusters of the virus emerged from a church and a rally last month. This triggered more than 1,800 infections.
Health authorities have urged people to remain at home and desist from mingling ahead of the traditional thanksgiving holiday of Chuseok, which begins on Wednesday. Millions are expected to travel.
“We request you to be aware that the Chuseok holidays must not ignite another nationwide spread of COVID-19 and to act accordingly,” Vice Health Minister Kang Do-tae said.
“Keeping distancing rules and wearing masks is the safest way to protect you, your family and society.”
After the rate of infections slowed down this month, the government eased some curbs. However, it imposed special measures for the holiday, including preventing dining at motorway rest areas, visits to nursing homes and making temperature screening mandatory at all stations.
The minister also warned of strict punishment if anyone is found taking part in a political rally. As many as 137 demonstrations have been banned.