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PM appeals for strict adherence to social distancing campaign to stem coronavirus

All News 09:59 April 18, 2020

SEOUL, April 18 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun called on the people Saturday to minimize outdoor activities during upcoming holidays and adhere to social distancing guidance to stem the coronavirus.

"I am worried that the social distancing campaign that we've carried out very well could be jeopardized later this month," Chung said, pointing to planned holidays set to begin at the end of this month.

South Korea is to mark Buddha's birthday on April 30, which will be followed by Labor Day, and Children's Day falls on May 5 after the weekend.

"I earnestly ask you to refrain from outdoor activities during holidays for the safety of the community. If you are planning a trip, please reconsider that," Chung stressed.

These combined photos show key landmarks in Seoul casting a blue light on April 16 and 17, 2020, as part of the Blue Light Campaign to express gratitude to South Korean medical personnel for fighting the novel coronavirus. Seoul's metropolitan government said they will be lit up till May 15. Counterclockwise from top left are the Seoullo 7017 pedestrian overpass, Seoul World Cup Stadium, Namsan Seoul Tower and Seoul City Hall. (Yonhap)

South Korea has reported fewer than 30 daily COVID-19 cases over the past five days in a row, but health authorities have warned against complacency.

From March 22, the government has intensified the drive, forcing all major public facilities, including schools and private gyms, to shut down to stop the spread of the virus, and it is expected to announce soon its decision on whether to further extend the guidance, which is supposed to be in effect until Sunday.

"If movement by and contact among the people surge amid risks of infections without symptoms, we may have to pay a huge price," Chung said. "Our children might not be able to go to school during the first semester."

Pointing to ongoing online campaigns to express gratitude to medical staff, the prime minister once again thanked them for their commitment and sacrifice that allow South Korea to manage the situation amid the global pandemic.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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