Story at a glance
- The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) Monday said a second wave is in progress in Seoul.
- Health officials said the increase in cases seems to have originated from a rise in movements during a holiday weekend in early May.
- South Korea has reported a total of 12,438 cases and 280 deaths since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Authorities in South Korea said the country is now going through a second wave of coronavirus infections and warn stricter physical-distancing measures may have to be reimposed, The Korea Herald reports.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) Monday said the new wave of infections was focused in Seoul.
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“If a wave is defined as an explosion of infections that significantly strains the health care system, I believe a second wave is in progress in the Greater Seoul area,” Jung Eun-kyeong, the KCDC director, said during a briefing Monday according to The Korea Herald.
The health official said the increase in cases seems to have originated from a rise in movements during a holiday weekend in early May.
“In the metropolitan area, we believe that the first wave was from March to April as well as February to March,” she said. “Then we see that the second wave, which was triggered by the May holiday, has been going on.”
South Korea has reported a total of 12,438 cases and 280 deaths since the coronavirus pandemic began. The country reported a peak of more than 900 cases in a day at the end of February, but an aggressive testing and contact tracing effort reduced that number of infections to single digits by late April.
Since May, clusters of new cases have grown, including outbreaks at nightclubs in Seoul.
Officials on Monday said 17 new infections had been recorded over the last 24 hours, the first time in nearly a month that daily new cases had dropped below 20. It was a drop from the nearly 50 and 70 cases reported in the previous two days.
The patient count in June in Seoul stands at 788, according to The Korea Herald.
The news out of South Korea comes amid talks of a second wave potentially hitting the U.S. in the fall. But health experts have largely agreed that the U.S. is still dealing with its first wave of coronavirus.
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