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South Korea warns of Lunar New Year virus risks


PTI, Jan 31, 2021, 3:50 PM IST

Seoul: South Korea says it will maintain elevated social distancing measures for at least two more weeks as health officials raise concerns about a possible surge in coronavirus infections surrounding February’s Lunar New Year holidays.

Vice Health Minister Kang Do-tae on Sunday pleaded with people to stay home during the holidays as he announced the government decision to extend a clampdown on private social gatherings of five or more people through the end of the holiday on February 14.

The government will also maintain restrictions on indoor dining in the Seoul metropolitan area for another two weeks, requiring restaurants to provide only deliveries and take out after 9 p.m.

Kang said officials are also concerned about how the toughened social distancing rules are hurting business owners and that they could possibly decide to ease some restrictions after monitoring the spread of the virus for another week.

South Korea reported another new 355 cases on Sunday, bringing the national caseload since the pandemic began to 78,205, including 1,420 deaths.

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