Coronavirus: Seoul reduces social distancing. Contagions remain at a minimum
It is the 20th day in a row under 20 cases of infection and third under five. South Koreans can resume their daily activities, while respecting some basic precautions. Public facilities are open. From next month 19 air connections with foreign countries will be restored. 100 million masks to face a possible second wave.
Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The new cases of coronavirus infection remain at a minimum even if the easing of social distancing started yesterday. Today, 4 infections have occurred in the country, three of which imported from abroad: the 20th day in a row under 20 and the third day under five. In total there are 10810 infected and 256 deaths.
The government introduced restrictions in human contact and isolation measures in March. The drop in infections has allowed the authorities to remove many of these limitations. South Koreans can resume their daily activities, while respecting some basic precautions, such as wearing protective masks.
The population again has access to public facilities, such as train and subway stations, which have returned to the normal crowding. Schools will gradually reopen next week. Churches have been open for the celebration of Mass as early as April 26th.
The authorities remain vigilant. They fear the arrival of a second wave of infections after the summer. To prepare for the event, the government has allocated funds to produce 100 million new masks.
Strict quarantine measures remain in force for those entering the country. Despite this, Korean Air Lines, the main South Korean air carrier, has announced that it will reactivate 19 air routes from next month; the connections will be restored with some airports in Canada, Germany, China, Malaysia and the United States.
Thanks to an excellent health system and prompt intervention, South Korea is among the countries that have responded best to the global pandemic. It is seen as a model of democratic action, alternative to the draconian one used by Beijing.
Seoul immediately closed the borders with China, the epicenter of the pandemic, introducing strict quarantine measures for those entering the country. Health authorities then launched mass diagnostic tests to identify possible cases of infection, and trace all their contacts.