S.Korea to ease Covid-19 curbs to lowest level

Seoul: National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun leaves Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, for Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Oct. 11, 2017, to attend the upcoming general assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. He will return home Oct. 21 after visiting Poland and Slovakia as well. (Yonhap/IANS)

Seoul, Oct 11 (IANS) South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Sunday said that the country has decided to ease the strict Covid-19 restrictions enforced across the country since August due to a decline in the number of new confirmed cases.

In August, South Korea imposed the Level 2 social distancing measures, the second-highest on a three-tier system, as cases spiked following a holiday and a mass rally that took place in Seoul, reports Yonhap News Agency.

“The average number of local infections fell to less than 60 on a daily basis over the past two weeks and the reproduction rate declined to ‘below 1,’ which led us to judge that the spread is being contained,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said in a Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters meeting.

The premier added that the government has decided to lower the social distancing measure to Level 1 considering the negative impact stronger measures have had on people’s sentiment and the domestic economy.

Some measures will however remain in place for the greater Seoul area where a fall in new cases has been relatively slow, Chung said, adding that seating arrangements based on social distancing will stay at cafes and restaurants.

On Sunday, South korea reported 58 new Covid-19 cases, raising the total caseload to 24,606, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

There were two additional deaths which increased the death toll to 432.

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