South Korea’s Deputy Health Minister has said that there are no plans to reinstate social distancing measures in South Korea, despite a rise in infections attributed to venues in Seoul.
Last week, a clubgoer tested positive for Covid-19 after they visited five different night time establishments in the neighbourhood of Itaewon in one evening, potentially exposing thousands of people to the virus. Health officials were placed on high alert, and so far there have been 76 confirmed patients who also visited clubs in Itaewon, as well as 43 who were infected via secondary transmission.
Whilst this caused some nightclubs and bars in Seoul to be temporarily re-closed, the government continued to ease restrictions and reopened offices, public facilities and sports centres. Daily infections remain under 50 a day despite the re-openings.
Vice Health Minister for South Korea, Kim Gang-lip, said: “For now, we will monitor how the current transmissions go and review [at a later date] whether we should reconsider our distancing policy.”
South Korea began to reintroduce live entertainment in March, following the peak in infections from January-February. The country has been so successful in controlling the coronavirus as it has been using a robust ‘test and trace’ programme, which has resulted in the government being able to accurately trace ‘at least 95% of infections’, allowing those who have come into contact with others infected with coronavirus to successfully self-isolate and keep other people safe.