Seoul under stricter social distancing for 2 weeks after fresh outbreak

Seoul, May 28 (efe-epa).- South Korean authorities on Thursday imposed stricter social distancing measures in Seoul for two weeks after a fresh outbreak of Covid-19.

The new measures included the closure of many public spaces after a spike of coronavirus infections, which has been linked to a commercial ship.

Minister of health and welfare Park Neung-hoo asked residents in the capital and surrounding region, including Gyeonggi province and the coastal city of Incheon, to increase safety restrictions until 14 June.

He announced during a press conference that parks, museums, cinemas and other public spaces will be closed in the area during this time.

Park urged inhabitants to avoid non-essential contact and establishments such as bars and restaurants to take extra measures and record the details of all their customers.

The outbreak is believed to have originated in a logistics center in Bucheon, Gyeonggi, after a warehouse worker tested positive for the virus and another 82 cases were confirmed within three days, according to Park.

He warned that there is a high risk that the contagion could significantly multiply.

Almost all the workers, their contacts and visitors to the ship, a total of more than 4,000 people, have been tested and the minister vowed tracking will be intensified to prevent further spread.

He admitted there is a possibility the infection has already advanced to other parts of the region outside the authorities’ radar.

Park added that schools will stay open in South Korea and asked for residents’ collaboration to prevent the restrictions from being extended and educational centers closing again.

“If this outbreak continues to grow we will have to return to the phase of social distancing,” he added.

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