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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:30 August 26, 2020

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.

(2nd LD) New virus cases bounce back to over 300, toughest virus curbs looming

SEOUL -- The number of daily new coronavirus cases in South Korea spiked to over 300 on Wednesday as sporadic cluster infections across the country, coupled with rising cases tied to churches, continued to build up, with the strongest antivirus restrictions being seriously considered.

The country reported 320 new COVID-19 cases, including 307 local infections, raising the total caseload to 18,265, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

(LEAD) Typhoon Bavi to affect most of S. Korea at night

SEOUL -- Typhoon Bavi, one of the year's most powerful typhoons, was expected to affect most of the country later this evening after passing through waters near the southern resort island of Jeju in the afternoon, the weather agency said Wednesday.

The tropical storm has developed into a powerful typhoon as of 9 a.m. and was approaching the country at a speed of 19 kilometers per hour, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA). Its maximum wind speed was 45 meters per second.

All schools in greater Seoul area go online amid virus surge

SEOUL -- Schools in Seoul and its surrounding areas returned to remote classes Wednesday to protect students and slow down the spread of the virus, as infections surge throughout the nation.

The Ministry of Education ordered all 7,826 kindergartens, elementary, middle and high schools in the metropolitan area -- Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province -- on Tuesday to hold online classes only, until Sept. 11, to tame the highly infectious coronavirus.

(LEAD) Doctors continue full-scale strike despite return-to-work order

SEOUL -- Tens of thousands of doctors launched a full-scale strike nationwide Wednesday in protest of the government's medical workforce reform plan, despite a return-to-work order.

The three-day collective action by doctors, including interns and resident doctors at general hospitals and practitioners at neighborhood clinics, came as they balked at the government's move to increase the number of medical students.

Prime minister urges striking doctors to immediately return to work

SEOUL -- Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Wednesday urged doctors on strike against the government's medical reform plans to immediately return to work, saying any collective action that holds patients' lives hostage is intolerable.

"I urge the doctors who went on collective action to return immediately to their medical workplaces in compliance with the government's order," Chung said during a regular government COVID-19 response meeting.

(3rd LD) N.K. leader chairs politburo meeting to discuss typhoon preparation, antivirus efforts

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over a key party meeting and discussed measures to minimize damage from an approaching powerful typhoon and correct some "defects" in the country's antivirus efforts, state media reported Wednesday.

The enlarged politburo meeting of the Workers' Party held Tuesday appears to be aimed at solidifying internal unity and showing Kim's care for people's lives as the country is facing a growing strain from global sanctions and back-to-back natural disasters weighing on its already fragile economy, experts said.

Samsung remains top smartphone vendor in Q2 despite sharp sales decline: report

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. remained the top smartphone vendor in the second quarter of the year despite suffering a sharp decline in sales, a report showed Wednesday.

Samsung sold 54.75 million smartphones in the April-June period to take a 18.6 percent market share, according to market researcher Gartner Inc. Its second-quarter sales suffered a 27.1 percent on-year decline, the largest drop among the top five smartphone brands, Gartner added.

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