The 30th International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference (PVSEC-30) &
Global Photovoltaic Conference 2020 (GPVC 2020)
Hybrid Conference On-site and On-line November 8 (Sun) - 13 (Fri), 2020 ICC JEJU, Jeju, Republic of Korea

News & Notice

COVID-19 shows flattening trend

News & Notice
Writer SecretariatDate2020-05-04
Attached file -
News & Notice
The Korea Times News
- Updated: April 22, 2020

COVID-19 shows flattening trend

By Kim Se-jeong

Korea logged a single-digit increase in the number of new coronavirus infection cases Monday, the latest sign that the highly contagious virus has largely been tamed here, according to the Korea Centers for Infectious Disease Control (KCDC) Tuesday. This raised the total number of infections to 10,683 with a death toll of 237.

On Sunday, the KCDC said there were eight new infection cases a day earlier, the first single-digit increase in two months.

Among nine new cases, five involved people who came from overseas which brought the total number of imported cases up to 1,011.

Korea reported its first case on Jan. 20, and by Feb. 29, the new daily count reached 909.

As the public social distancing campaign is now extended to May 5, the government on Tuesday said public facilities with lower risks of infection would reopen today.

"Places like arboretums and recreational forests will open Wednesday. Outdoor tennis courts, other outdoor gyms, national parks and outdoor museums will follow suit," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Monday.

Yet, Chung stressed that people still need to keep their guards up.

The health authorities are worried about a second wave of outbreaks, as more people leave their homes and flock to malls and parks. Also, last week's general election saw 29 million voters showing up at polling stations nationwide.
A KCDC official said on Tuesday that a second wave of COVID-19 would be unavoidable, sending a strong warning message to citizens.

"We're in a dangerous situation. We need to desperately prepare for the next wave of outbreak," said Kwon Joon-wook, a senior official handling the national quarantine efforts.

On the previous day, Chung Eun-kyeong, the KCDC director, said another virus outbreak could happen this winter.

With the upcoming long holiday next weekend, the government repeated its message of vigilance and asked people to avoid crowded places.

Starting from Buddha's Birthday next Thursday until Children's Day the week after, many people are expected to leave home, elevating the possibility of infection.

According to local news reports, hotel reservations in Jeju are full for the holiday period.

On Sunday, the government said it was hoping to end the social distancing campaign with mandatory shutdowns on some outlets and related penalties by May 5 and let people resume their daily routines with only personal hygiene guidelines in place.

The two seemingly contradictory messages show the dilemma the government is facing. While the outbreak still poses a great public health threat, the government can't just ignore the economic consequences caused by the pandemic and social distancing.

Meanwhile, the government said electronic wristbands for violators of self-quarantine rules will be put in action from early next week.

While use is not compulsory, those who choose the option to wear them will have their fines or sentencing reduced. Those who violate the self-quarantine rules are subject to one year in prison or fines of up to 10 million won.

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