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(LEAD) S. Korea reports no new local virus cases for 3rd day amid lax social distancing

All News 10:56 May 06, 2020

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SEOUL, May 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported two more cases of the new coronavirus, all of which are imported cases, on Wednesday, marking no local new infections for the third consecutive day amid relaxed social distancing.

The new infections brought the nation's total caseload to 10,806, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

On Tuesday, the country added just three cases, the lowest figure in more than two months.

The country decided to lift its strict social distancing scheme that had been put in force since early March starting Wednesday, amid a slowdown in the number of new infections that had peaked at 909 in late February.

South Koreans are allowed to go back to their daily routines while adhering to basic precautionary guidelines. Schools will open in phases starting next week as well.

People maintain a safe social distance while buying tickets at an amusement park in eastern Seoul on May 5, 2020, Children's Day and the last day of the government-led social distancing campaign to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. (Yonhap)

Imported cases, however, remain a potential threat. The total number of imported cases reached 1,104, with South Korean nationals being responsible for more than 90 percent.

The nation's death toll increased by one to 255.

The overall fatality rate reached 2.36 percent. The rate for patients aged 80 and above stood at 25 percent.

In total, 9,333 people in South Korea have recovered from the virus, up 50 from a day earlier. So far, 86.4 percent of the patients have been cured.

Daegu, the nation's worst virus-hit region located 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, added no new cases for the third consecutive day. The city accounts for 64 percent of the nation's total COVID-19 cases.

Commuters wait for a subway train in western Seoul on May 6, 2020. South Korea further lifted its strict social distancing scheme that had been put in force since early March on the same day. (Yonhap)

South Korea has carried out 643,095 tests since Jan. 3, including 2,858 on Tuesday. The country reported its first COVID-19 case, a Chinese person, on Jan. 20.

In sync with the eased quarantine guidelines, health authorities said earlier they are considering lowering the nation's warning level by a notch from the highest level of four.

Health authorities, however, say the latest changes do not mean that South Korea has fully won the battle against the pandemic.

Experts warn another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic may hit the country hard later, given the lack of a vaccine for the highly contagious virus.

colin@yna.co.kr
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