South Korea considers removing use of masks indoors

Seoul, Dec 23 (EFE).- South Korea said Friday it plans to withdraw the use of masks indoors in the near future if a series of factors related to the spread of the coronavirus are met.

South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Thursday at a meeting of the Disaster and Emergency Countermeasures Command, the body he chairs, that he would remove the indoors mask mandate if two of the four standards he has established are met.

The four indicators are the number of deaths and serious cases of covid per day, the stability in the number of new infections, hospital capacity and the level of immunity of risk groups.

The Executive has been considering whether to remove the mandatory mask in closed venues after some municipalities expressed their intention to eliminate this requirement due to the fact that the South Korean population seems to have developed sufficient herd immunity to the virus.

Once two of the four indicators are at levels the government considers satisfactory, the date for the removal of the masks will be announced, Han said, according to the Yonhap news agency.

He also said the mask would continue to be mandatory in hospitals and other facilities considered high risk.

South Korea, which continues to count daily Covid-19 infections, is reporting between 70,000 and 80,000 daily cases these days, an increase compared to past weeks due to the sharp drop in temperatures, which have barely risen from 0C in the last few days.

The country of 51 million inhabitants, has registered 28.5 million infections since the start of the pandemic and just over 31,000 deaths from the virus, with a mortality rate of 0.1 percent. EFE


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