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Suicides, traffic deaths decrease in 2020 amid pandemic-induced social restrictions

All News 16:26 December 09, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Yonhap) -- The numbers for suicides, and traffic and crime-related deaths fell in 2020 due largely to various social distancing schemes imposed over concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government said Thursday.

According to the interior ministry, the combined number of deaths connected to traffic accidents, crimes and suicides stood at 16,439 in 2020, down from 17,350 a year earlier.

In terms of types, traffic deaths fell 15.9 percent to 2,858, and those connected to five major crimes, such as murder and robbery, dropped 5.4 percent to 386. Suicide cases also fell from 13,779 to 13,195, down 4.4 percent on-year.

Officials attributed the decreases in traffic and crime deaths to the nationwide social distancing restrictions and business hour curfews that were imposed on bars and restaurants throughout the country during the pandemic.

They also credited the drop in suicides to the government's COVID-19 related suicide prevention program.

Disease-related deaths, however, jumped 31.5 percent due to an increase in cases connected to COVID-19, while fatalities connected to fire accidents climbed 26.3 percent due to a notable increase in large warehouse fire accidents.

In this file photo, an ambulance arrives at a Coupang warehouse in Icheon, 80 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on June 19, 2021, following a fire accident at the facility. (Yonhap)


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