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As temperature rises in S. Korea, worries grow over wearing face masks

National 11:18 June 04, 2020

SEOUL, June 4 (Yonhap) -- The temperature in South Korea's southern inland area was forecast to hit 35 C Thursday, raising concerns over wearing face masks amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

A heat wave advisory was set to go into effect in Daegu, 302 kilometers southeast of Seoul, as well as the nearby counties of Cheongdo, Gimcheon, Chilgok, Seongju, Goryeong and Gyeongsan, starting 11 a.m.

This comes slightly later than the first heat wave advisory issued in the region on May 23 last year.

The weather agency in Daegu forecast daytime temperatures would peak at 35 C and 28 to 35 C in other areas, around five to seven degrees higher than the 30-year average.

The advisory comes amid concerns over wearing thick face masks during warm weather.

Health authorities have been trying to search for more realistic anti-virus measures for the summer season, as the outbreak shows no sign of letting up.

The government recently approved thinner face masks in a move that is expected to help cap the price for so-called "dental masks."

A local mask manufacturer is scheduled to start selling them online Friday, with each mask tentatively priced at 500 won (40 US cents).

The government currently rations two kinds of thicker but more durable masks at 1,500 won per piece through pharmacies and designated outlets.

Pedestrians wearing face masks walk past a pharmacy in the central Seoul ward of Jongno on May 31, 2020. (Yonhap)

mlee@yna.co.kr
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