New Delhi: All year-end parties has been banned in South Korea after a sudden spike in coronavirus infections was noticed in the country. The South Korean authorities also announced a ban on some music lessons, and directed the closure of public saunas and some cafes due to the surge in cases. Also Read - Day 1 of Largest Vaccination Drive Ends as Over 1.9 Frontline Workers Get First Jabs | 10 Points
According to a Reuters report, South Korea has been one of the world’s coronavirus mitigation success stories but spikes in infections have reappeared relentlessly, triggering alarm in Asia’s four-largest economy. Also Read - 52 Healthcare Workers Show Adverse Reactions COVID-19 Vaccine Shot in Delhi, 1 Hospitalised
Earlier on Sunday, authorities in the country reported 450 new infections after over 500 cases were recorded for three days in a row, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said. What authorities are calling a third wave of infections is spreading at the fastest rate in nearly nine months, driven by outbreaks at military facilities, a sauna, a high school and churches. Also Read - 1,91,181 Inoculated: India Completes Day 1 of COVID-19 Vaccination Drive, Health Minister Calls it 'Sanjeevani'
Commenting on the country’s COVID situation, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said restrictions would be tightened on gatherings and activities seen as prone to virus transmission, especially in the capital Seoul and surrounding urban areas.
“Year-end events and parties hosted by hotels, party rooms, guest houses and other accommodation facilities will be banned outright,” said Chung while addressing media after meeting health officials.
Saunas and steam-bath rooms with a high risk of mass infection would also be banned as would the teaching of wind musical instruments and singing. For rest of the country, social distancing rules would also be tightened from Tuesday, he said.
The prime minister also said that the government was talking to parliament about the possibility of new relief funds for households and businesses, which would be the third this year, as the economy struggles.
“Our assessment is that we need the third crisis support fund … The government will come up with a conclusion on this after discussing with both the ruling and opposition parties, ” he said.
Meanwhile, President Moon Jae-in also toured a Seoul high school on Sunday that was being prepared as a test center to accommodate students in quarantine on Dec 3., when almost 500,000 students sit for the annual college entrance exam.