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Imported virus cases jump amid relaxed social distancing

All News 10:31 May 08, 2020

SEOUL, May 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported 12 more cases of the new coronavirus Friday, most of which came from overseas, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,822 amid relaxed social distancing.

Eleven of the newly added cases are imported ones, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The tally also marked new daily cases of more than 10 for the first time in five days.

Imported cases continued to outpace domestic infections, as South Koreans residing overseas have been returning home amid the global pandemic.

Starting Wednesday, South Korea gave the go-ahead to the normalization of public facilities and other business establishments under the condition that they follow basic sanitation measures.

Preparations to reopen schools next week are also under way. High school seniors will return to school Wednesday, while students in all other grades will go back by June 1.

A student of Seoul National University's music school attends a lesson with her professor, separated by a transparent partition, on May 7, 2020, the second day of the implementation of "everyday life quarantine" measures against COVID-19. (Yonhap)

The nation's death toll remained unchanged at 256, the KCDC said.

In total, 9,484 people in South Korea have recovered from the virus, up 65 from a day earlier.

Health authorities, however, emphasize that the downward trend of new infections does not indicate that the country has fully eradicated the pandemic.

South Korea remains concerned over possible cluster infections from the holiday that ran from April 30 through Tuesday, as many South Koreans made short trips across the nation.

The incubation period of the COVID-19 virus is roughly two weeks.

A virus patient was also confirmed to have visited five clubs in Seoul's popular multicultural neighborhood of Itaewon a day earlier, raising concerns over possible community transmission.

With a second wave of the pandemic anticipated to hit the country hard again later this year, health authorities say people will need to continue wearing protective masks and following guidelines.

colin@yna.co.kr
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