Coronavirus — Korean Cases Climb in Clusters

  • Cluster infections centered on the metropolitan area are emerging one after another and are showing a trend of continuous spread.
  • The government has decided to upgrade the social distancing level of Seoul City and Gyeonggi Province to the second stage from the 16th.
  • A large-scale rally hosted by conservative groups was held in the Gwanghwamun area, and some were blocked while marching toward the Blue House.

According to a report from the South Korean Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters on the 15th, 166 new confirmed cases of the new coronavirus have been added to South Korea from midnight Friday to midnight Saturday, local time. It is the biggest daily increase since March.

On January 20, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 in South Korea was announced. As of August 16, there were 15,318 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 305 deaths.

This is also the first time since the end of March that South Korea has over 100 new confirmed cases in a single day for two consecutive days. According to the information, on Friday, South Korea added 155 local infections, of which 145 were from Seoul, Gyeonggi-do, and other metropolitan areas.

Eleven were imported from abroad. Cluster infections centered on the metropolitan area are emerging, one after another, and are showing a trend of continuous spread.

South Korean Minister of Health and Welfare Park Ling-ho announced at a press conference that based on the results of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters meeting held on the same day, the government has decided to upgrade the social distancing level of Seoul City and Gyeonggi Province to the second stage from the 16th, tentatively for two weeks.

Pu Linghou said that the government has additionally listed Internet cafes as high-risk locations, requiring all Internet cafes to take compulsory epidemic prevention measures from the 19th, and also advised the public to reduce unnecessary outings for gatherings. If the situation continues to deteriorate after two weeks, the government may take measures to close high-risk places.

At the end of June, the South Korean government announced the three stages of social distancing measures and their anti-epidemic measures. The second stage is to ban gatherings of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors and suspend public facilities and high-risk places.

According to the latest statistics of the Korean Disease Management Headquarters, as of 0:00 on the 15th, the total number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in South Korea was 15,039, the total number of deaths was 305, and the total number of cured were 13,901 cases.

Liberation Day Seoul City Center Rally

The National Liberation Day of Korea is a holiday celebrated annually on 15 August in both South and North Korea. It commemorates Victory over Japan Day, when U.S. and Soviet forces ended the decades-long Japanese occupation of Korea. It is notable for being the only Korean public holiday celebrated by both South and North.

On the afternoon of the 15th, the Liberation Day rally took place in various places in downtown Seoul. A large-scale rally hosted by conservative groups was held in the Gwanghwamun area, and some were blocked while marching toward the Blue House.

In front of Bosingak, Seoul, a press conference was held at the assembly ceremony of the National Federation of Democratic Trade Unions. The Taegeukgi flag stood out at Gwanghwamun and the Korean Peninsula flag stood out in front of Jonggak Station.

Rally Crowds Flock to Block the Road

On this day, the rally started at around noon in front of the Dongwha Duty-Free Shop in Jongno-gu, Seoul, centered on the Headquarters of the Korean People’s Movement, and ended at around 4:30 pm.

Initially, the conservative group reported a rally to the police, saying that 100 people were gathering. Although the Seoul Metropolitan Government banned the assembly, a large number of people gathered as the court suspended the effect of the ban on the assembly, making it possible.

Until 1 p.m., participants filled the 200 m. long sidewalk and two lanes from Dongwha Duty-Free Shop to Koreana Hotel, but as the number of people gradually increased, the police controlled all lanes nearby. Barricades and barriers installed by the police were pierced by crowds.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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