Last week Isha had a worrisome week after a cluster outbreak of COVID-19 in an expat area. However, she feels that things are going back to normal again. At her office things are also changing. If you want to know more about Isha, click here to read her bio.
Press the play button to find out some of the changes in her workplace, and how she thinks the government is handling the situation.
Current situation in South Korea 21-05-2020
The total number of COVID-19 cases has increased with 131 new cases in the last week. Four people have died because of the virus. Most of the new cases are connected to the clubgoer in Itaewon. In early May South Koreans were going back to what was called ‘everyday quarantine life’. But the Itaewon outbreak led to fears for a second wave. If you want to know more about this, you can read last week’s article.
On Sunday May 17, experts of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said that they do not think it is likely that the Itaewon outbreak will lead to a next big wave. At that time 168 cases were linked to the Itaewon case in two weeks’ time. On Thursday the 21st the total number of related cases was 206. More than 60.000 people have been tested because of this outbreak. Jung Eun-kyeong, director of KCDC, said: “While the Itaewon outbreak is not projected to become as explosive as a peak witnessed in February, the situation is still far from reassuring”.
New outbreak in hospital
After the initial scare about the Itaewon outbreak, there was a second scare. Four nurses at Samsung Medical Center, a large hospital, got infected. Two of them did not show any symptoms. Mayor of Seoul Park Won-soon said they needed to respond carefully and sensitively, because there is a possibility of more patients. A total of 1418 people who had been in contact with the nurses got tested. So far none of these people seem to have corona.
Since Sunday the 17th of May there were about fifteen new cases per day. This spiked to more than thirty cases on Wednesday May 20. This is the highest increase of new cases in nine days.
Reopening of schools
In the midst of this high spike some schools reopened for the first time in 79 days. The reopening will go in phases, which will be fully completed by the 8th of June. On the 20th of May senior high school students could go back to the classroom. The reason that this group could go first, is because of the country college entrance exam, which has been postponed till the 3rd of December.
Not everyone thinks the reopening of schools is a good idea. A petition to postpone the reopening got more than 230.000 signatures. However, there are measures to reduce the risk of infections. The sizes of classes are reduced, there will still be some online classes, children are checked for symptoms, such as fever, twice a day, it is mandatory to wear a facemask, and there are plastic dividers in the cafeteria.
Two students tested positive
The first day of the high schools reopening went quite smoothly. But in Incheon 66 students had to go home after two of their classmates tested positive. These two infected students are probably related to the Itaewon case. Students are advised to stay away from places where there is a high risk of infection.
Curious what the schools look like with the new measures? Take a look at these photos from the first day of the reopening.
Most people in Seoul think that the pandemic will not end this year. Look at this graph to see when residents think the corona crisis will end.
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