South Korea becomes first country to announce second wave of coronavirus
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has seen an increase in corona viruses.
South Korea is in the middle of a "second wave" of coronavirus infections, health officials said Monday.
So far, the country has been celebrated as a success story for dealing with the global virus pandemic. However, the Korea Centers for Disease Control (KCDC) said on Monday that an increase in new cases signaled a second wave in the capital, Seoul.
Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said 90 imported cases had been identified last week, a sharp increase from 48 the previous week.
He said, "The government is facing a serious situation as health officials not only curb local infections, but also have to manage imported cases."
Doctors who track cases of COVID-19 work in a hospital in Daegu, South Korea. The country has been praised for its rigorous track and trace system, which has helped curb the spread of the virus within two months. (Ed Jones / AFP via Getty Images)
Countries like Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Iran have reported evidence of a second wave of coronavirus cases, but South Korea is the first to officially recognize this.
The KCDC had previously said that South Korea's first wave had never really ended.
The numbers remained low during the crisis. At the end of February, the country reported a peak of more than 900 cases per day in the first major outbreak of the coronavirus outside of China. However, an intensive tracking and testing campaign reduced the number to single digits by the end of April.
In South Korea's rigorous track and trace system, the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus was quickly brought under control, which means that citizens have avoided other countries' stringent restriction restrictions. However, a second wave of infections was reported (Jung Yeon-je / AFP via Getty) Images)
But just as the country announced in early May that it would loosen the social distancing guidelines, new cases emerged, partly due to infections among young people who visited nightclubs and bars in Seoul in early May on a national holiday weekend.
On Monday, KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong said it had become clear that the holiday weekend marked the start of a new wave of infections in the Seoul metropolitan area, in which only a few cases had previously occurred.
"In the metropolitan area, we believe that the first wave was from March to April and from February to March," Jeong said during a briefing. “Then we see that the second wave triggered by the May holidays has taken place.
“We originally predicted that the second wave would occur in the fall or winter, [but] our forecast turned out to be wrong. As long as people stay in close contact with each other, we believe that the infections will continue. "
South Korea has reported a total of 12,438 cases with 280 deaths.
Citing research from health experts, Park said the country could potentially report up to 800 new cases a day in the month if it doesn't curb current transmission trends.
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He said the basic number of virus carriers, which measures the number of infections caused by a person, reached almost 1.8 between April 30 and June 11. Any number over 1 indicates a growing epidemic.
In India, officials again locked 15 million people last week after seeing a huge increase in new infections.
Blocking restrictions in England continue to loosen as children return to school and bars and restaurants are preparing to reopen by July 4th.
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