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South Korea Reopens, then Re-shuts, Nightclubs after Spike in Covid-19 Cases

PLSN Staff • International News • May 12, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea – On May 9, South Korea ordered nightclubs to be closed following a new surge in Covid-19 cases. By then, health authorities had traced more than a dozen new Covid-19 cases to a single infected 29-year-old reveler who visited several clubs in Seoul’s Itaewon district on the night of May 1 and morning of May 2, according to reports.

In addition to an immediate closure of the nightclubs, the outbreak, which has since grown to more than 100 new cases, has postponed a re-opening of schools for more than a week as authorities use contract tracing with cellphone text alerts to those who had been in close proximity to the clubs as the virus was spreading.

Through careful testing and contact tracing, South Korea had seen its daily new-case tally drop to single digits in late April, and by April 30, the daily total of new cases had actually dropped to zero.

The country was already in the process of easing restrictions, with some clubs reopening as early as April 24. New daily case totals remained in the single digits in early May, but then the latest resurgence was detected and the new closures were announced May 9.

South Korea is now using its testing and tracking resources to keep the outbreak under control. As of May 12, South Korea has recorded 10,936 cases and 258 deaths. The U.S., by contrast, had recorded 1.39 million cases and 82,555 deaths, with new cases in early May ranging between 31,053 (May 3) and 21,329 (May 12), according to reports acknowledging that, due to limited testing in the U.S., the reported stats could well be an undercount of actual infections.


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