SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – 386 new corona virus cases have resurfaced that could force authorities to re-impose strong social remote controls after easing in October to stimulate a declining economy.
Statistics released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Institute on Saturday raised the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 30,340, including 503 deaths.
More than 270 of the new cases come from the Seoul metropolitan area, where health workers are struggling to keep track of the spread to schools, private training academies and religious facilities.
Infections have also been reported in other major cities, including Busan, Daejeon, Guangzhou and Assan.
South Korea has so far been able to weather the epidemic without major locks, instead relying on an aggressive test and isolated campaign and wearing a mask.
In October, authorities eased remote operations to a lesser extent, allowing high-risk areas such as nightclubs and karaoke bars to reopen and allowing fans to return to professional sports.
But if social distance measures are not effectively strengthened, the country could report more than 1,000 new infections a day in a week or two, the Korean Infectious Diseases Association said Friday.
“COVID-19 transmissions occur simultaneously in high numbers across the country, and in some regions, the pace of infections has already surpassed local capabilities for communication tracking,” the medical team said.
Other developments in the Asia-Pacific region include:
– Japan is re-measuring the government-backed “KOTO” campaign to promote travel and food, as the number of confirmed corona virus cases rose to 2,418 on Saturday for the third day. The decision was announced by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suka at a government committee on corona virus infection activities. Emphasizing the need to be “extremely cautious,” he said the campaign’s travel discounts no longer apply to severely affected areas, and that discounts for eating out will end temporarily. Japan has never had a total lockout. It has less than 2,000 deaths associated with the corona virus. But concerns are mounting about an increase in infections over the three-day weekend. Monday is Labor Day, a national holiday.
– 46,232 new cases have been reported in India, especially in New Delhi. Intensive care wards and the main crematorium of the capital are close to capacity, and health officials this week found that the spread of infections in markets is higher than expected. The city has added an average of 6,700 cases each day in recent weeks. The health ministry also recorded 564 deaths in the last 24 hours on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 132,726. India reached a tough milestone on Friday, crossing 9 million epidemics, second only to the United States
– China launches mass test on 3 million people in a section of the northern city of Tianjin and tests 4,015 people at a hospital in Shanghai, where a pair of cases have been discovered. The National Health Commission on Saturday recorded seven new cases spreading locally, including five in Tianjin and two in Shanghai. Tianjin reported on Friday a social exchange involving four different individuals and another case. In response, local authorities sealed off the residential community and a hospital and kindergarten. On Saturday, authorities began searching all residents in Tianjin’s Pinhai province, according to the local government’s social media page. Authorities in Shanghai sealed off the hospital on Friday night after a husband and wife tested positive for the virus. The total number of confirmed cases in China is now 86,414.
– After more than three weeks of new infections or deaths in Victoria, the focus in Australia has shifted to the neighboring state of South Australia. In the state capital of Adelaide on Saturday, South Australian Prime Minister Steven Marshall said there were no new cases of community outreach. There are 26 new cases in the North Adelaide suburb that will end at midnight on Saturday, but there will be several measures to reduce crowding in places including hotels and restaurants.
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