Seoul to reduce in-class student numbers amid rebound in cases

Seoul, May 29 (efe-epa).- The South Korean government announced on Friday that it will reduce the number of students who can simultaneously attend school classes in the capital region due to an uptick in coronavirus cases registered around Seoul.

Primary and secondary schools in the capital and its surroundings will only be able to receive a third of the total of its students at one time, while high schools will only be able to accommodate two thirds, according to a press conference given by Vice-Minister of Education Park Baeg-beom.

Pending the publication of more details on how the student rotations will be carried out and whether the system will be accompanied by online support classes, Park assured that the government will continue with the third and final phase of the staggered reopening of schools on June 3, according to the local Yonhap news agency.

On May 20, schools began reopening by age brackets in South Korea, one of the countries that have best managed their epidemic.

Before the reopening began, courses started in April more than a month late and completely online.

The spike in cases is linked to logistics centers, in particular one in Bucheon on the outskirts of Seoul with 102 cases, and has sparked the concern of parents in the country.

The outbreak is behind the increase in infections in the last two days and has meant the reinforcement of social distancing measures in Seoul until June 14.

On Thursday, South Korea reported 79 new infections, the highest number since Apr. 5, while on Friday it reported 58 cases, all of them in the capital region, where some 26 million people reside – more than half of the national population.

South Korea has reported a total of 11,402 cases, of which only 770 (6.7 percent) remain active.

Just over 90 percent of those infected have recovered, while 269 have died, leaving a fatality rate of 2.35 percent. EFE-EPA


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