South Korea on Sunday decided to raise distancing regulations for the greater Seoul area to the second-highest level as part of its utmost efforts to stem a resurgence of the novel coronavirus.
The government announced that the Level 2.5 distancing, the second highest in the country’s five-tier COVID-19 alert system, will be applied to the nation’s capital area, which covers Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province, for the next three weeks.
“We’ve come upon a critical period in the fight against COVID-19,” said Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun during a government COVID-19 response meeting. “Despite our efforts to tighten social distancing, the daily number of infections rose to more than 500 last week from 400.”
The enhancement came as South Korea has been struggling with more than 500 daily new COVID-19 cases in recent days amid the third wave of the pandemic.
Earlier in the day, 631 more infections were reported, including 599 local infections, raising the total caseload to 37,546. Among them, 253 cases were from Seoul and 176 from the surrounding Gyeongi Province, while Incheon, just west of Seoul, added 41 more cases.’
A street in downtown Seoul is relatively empty on Dec. 6, 2020. (Yonhap)