South Korea scrambles to contain new coronavirus outbreak

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 11, 2020 - Duration: 01:49s

South Korea scrambles to contain new coronavirus outbreak

South Korean officials scrambled on Monday to contain a new coronavirus outbreak that is threatening to spread throughout the densely populated capital city of Seoul, leading the country to reconsider plans to reopen schools.

Libby Hogan reports.


South Korea scrambles to contain new coronavirus outbreak

A new outbreak of coronavirus cases in South Korea has sent officials scrambling to stop its spread in the densely populated capital city of Seoul.

Officials reported over 30 new infections across the country as of midnight on Sunday (May 10), the highest daily numbers in more than a month.

The country had been lauded for its early action in slowing the pandemic.

But on Sunday, President Moon Jae-In warned of a second wave.

"It's not over until it's over.

While keeping enhanced alertness till the end, we must never lower our guard regarding epidemic prevention." Most of the recent infection cluster was linked back to a slew of clubs and bars in the popular nightlife district of Itaewon, many of which catered to members of the LGBTQ community.

That has raised complications for officials desperately trying to track down new infections in a nation where open homosexuality is often taboo and LGBTQ people still face significant discrimination, including job loss and hate speech.

Authorities have tested 4,000 people but were still trying to track down around 3,000 more.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-Soon has pleaded with clubgoers to be tested, warning that anyone avoiding testing could be fined.

"The next two or three days will be a critical moment which decides if Seoul will be infiltrated or not.

If Seoul was infiltrated, the Republic of Korea will be infiltrated." The outbreak has prompted Seoul to impose an immediate temporary shutdown of all nightly entertainment facilities just as the country began easing some social distancing restrictions last week.

Authorities have proposed to delay the reopening of schools, that was scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

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