SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea ordered most schools in Seoul to be closed again after a resurgence of 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.
That represents a drop in daily new infections from 397 reported as of midnight ob Saturday, the highest daily tally since early March.
With most of the new cases centred 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 high school seniors, in the cities of Seoul and Incheon and the province of Geonggi will take classes online until September 11, the Ministry of Education said on Tuesday.
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 20 and June 1.
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.
Seoul on Monday 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.
Health Minister Park Neung-hoo on Tuesday pleaded with thousands of doctors who have been staging walkouts to return to work.
“We sincerely ask the medical staff to promptly return to the medical ground, where the patients are awaiting,” he said at a meeting.