04/23/2020, 16.41
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Seoul plans social and economic recovery after the coronavirus

Some 10,702 cases have been reported with 240 deaths. People must observe basic health rules to avoid contagion, including social distancing. Each community will have to pick a manager to ensure compliance with prevention measures. Concern for the economy remain as GDP growth slows to 1.3 per cent.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – South Korea's response to the pandemic crisis appears to be more effective than China’s. Eight new cases and two deaths were reported today for a total of 10,702 people infected and 240 deaths.

Following a drop in the number of cases, South Korean authorities have unveiled a set of guidelines to resume daily activities. Quarantine measures will not be eliminated, but people will be allowed to gradually resume regular social and economic activities, provided that social distancing is maintained.

People will still have to observe basic health rules to avoid contagion. In addition to keeping a safe distance, those with symptoms must stay home for three to four days.

Under the guidelines, a community, whether a school, a business site or something else, must designate a manager dedicated to quarantine activities and set up virus prevention measures.

This manager will be required to actively cooperate with health authorities and will be tasked with regularly monitoring community members' health conditions.

Each activity will have specific guidelines. But health officials note that the latter are recommendations, not binding, and will come into effect after a trial period and the approval of a committee of experts, government officials and representatives of civic groups.

Strict rules of social distancing in public places will remain in force until at least 5 May. If the new guidelines work, South Korean authorities believe that existing restrictions can be eased.

Overall, South Korea is having more success than many others in the fight against the pandemic without extreme social confinement and economic lockdown measures like China or other countries. However, the government is concerned about the country’s economy.

The central bank reported that the GDP grew by 1.3 per cent when compared to a year earlier but the rate was slower than the 2.3 per cent of the fourth quarter year-on-year. Overall, the economy shrank 1.4 per cent in the January-to-March period compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.

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