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Moon cautiously expects end to strict social distancing drive amid quarantine progress

All News 16:19 April 10, 2020

SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Friday South Korea is facing watershed days ahead in the fight against the coronavirus, cautiously setting his sights on ending the national social distancing campaign before long.

He was encouraged by health authorities' reports that not a single COVID-19 infection was confirmed in Daegu the previous day. The city of 2.4 million residents, located 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, was once the epicenter of the nation's COVID-19 outbreak. The daily number of new patients peaked at 741 on Feb. 29 and has reached a plateau recently.

"I sincerely extend a message of consolation, encouragement and gratitude to Daegu citizens for the sacrifice and hard work they have gone through," the president wrote on his social media accounts.

He also noted that the number of confirmed cases nationwide has dropped below 30.

He added it's premature to be at ease.

"Of course, I am still nervous," he said. "But it seems like I can say now, let's do just a little bit more."

Moon said South Korea may be able to end the social distancing campaign and shift to a daily quarantine routine if there is no rebound in infections through Easter and the general elections, slated for next Wednesday. The government earlier extended the social distancing guidelines through April 19.

This file photo shows subway users in Daegu seated apart amid the social distancing campaign against the coronavirus. (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr
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