South Korea closes schools in Seoul after resurgence in COVID-19 cases

SEOUL: Schools in South Korea’s capital have once again been closed after a resurgence of coronavirus cases in the city.

The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported 280 new coronavirus cases as of midnight Monday, bringing the country’s total to 17,945 with 310 deaths.

This represents a drop in daily new infections from 397 reported as of midnight on Saturday, the highest daily tally since early March.

With most of the new cases centered in the densely populated capital area, however, health authorities say the country is on the brink of a nation-wide outbreak and have called on people to stay home and limit travel.

All students, except for few in the cities of Seoul and Incheon and the province of Gyeonggi will take classes online until 11th September, the Ministry of Education said.

The beginning of the spring semester had been postponed several times since March, but as daily coronavirus cases dropped sharply since a February peak, most of South Korea’s schools reopened in stages between May and June.

Over the past two weeks, at least 150 students and 43 school staff have tested positive in the greater Seoul area, Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae told a briefing.

Earlier on Monday, Seoul ordered masks to be worn in both indoor and outdoor public places for the first time and has ordered places like churches, nightclubs, karaoke bars, and other high-risk venues closed.

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