Isha – Week Five

Last week Isha felt that things were going back to normal. This week she tells us what she has been missing, and if things are still getting back to normal. If you want to know more about Isha, click here to read her bio.

Press the play button and find out what Isha has been missing a lot.

Current situation in South Korea 29-05-2020

Things were calming down after the initial scare of the Itaewon cluster outbreak. The number of COVID-19 cases increased with 131 last week, which was less high than the week before.

Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse again. After a new outbreak, the number of cases increased with 280 in the last eight days. On Thursday the 28th there were 79 new cases reported in 24 hours. That is the highest increase in a single day since the 5th of April. On Friday the 29th 58 new cases were reported.

On the 6th of May South Korea relaxed its measures into what they called ‘routine distancing’.  But on Thursday the 28th of June, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo announced that the ‘strict social distancing’ will be reinstated in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi province till June 14. This was decided because of the rise in infections. The government hopes that by doing this, they will manage to control the spread of infections, while keeping the schools open.

This means that museums, parks, nightclubs, religious places, theaters and all other communal facilities will be closed for the next two weeks in Seoul, Gyeonggi province and Incheon.

A month ago there were 10.765 cases of COVID-19 in South Korea. A month later this has slowly increased to 11.402 cases.

There has been a slight bigger rise in COVID-19 infections in the last week.

Outbreak in logistic center
The new outbreak happened in an e-commerce logistics center in Bucheon. This city is in the Gyeonggi province, which is close to Seoul. On Monday the 25th of June, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in this distribution center. Because the patient had not come to work since the 20th of June, the company decided to stay open. However, by Thursday the 28th, there were 82 linked cases. A day later this had risen to 102 cases that are linked to the distribution center.

So far 3.445 people with links to the logistics center have been tested. In total 4.351 people with ties will get tested. There is also an infected employee at a second location of the logistic center. Both centers are now closed and employees and relatives have to stay in quarantine for two weeks.

There has also been a small outbreak of seven cases in a call center in Seoul.

Young people
Most of the new infections are from local transmissions, and most of these people are young. According to the deputy director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), the majority of these new patients do not have severe symptoms.

The reason why so many young people got the virus can be because of the outbreak in a nightclub in Itaewon. So far 266 cases are traced back to this outbreak.

Some schools did not reopen
The reopening of schools is going in phases, about half of the children have been going back to school by now. Almost three percent of the schools that would reopen this week decided to remain closed due to the recent spike in infections. However, the government does not want schools to close again, because the academic calendar has already been disrupted a lot.

The mayor of Bucheon said that schools will have to close again in his city, except for high school seniors.

The number of deaths has barely increased. On the 30th of April 247 people had died because of corona, a month later this has risen to 269.

Single use plastics
Because of the pandemic people have been using more single use plastics. Think of masks, gloves, but also take away containers. Some activist are worried that this will become the new normal. A 26-year-old student at Hanyang University tells the Korea Herald: “Every item that I ordered came in plastic containers, and I was taking out the trash at least twice as much as usual before the outbreak”.

In May 2019 there was a ban of using plastic cups for in-store customers. But because of the corona crisis the government temporary relaxed the ban on disposable packaging. Now in-store customers can also use plastic or paper cups.

According to the head of Resource Recycle Consulting the amount of trash from households has increased, but waste by the industrial sector, such as restaurants and factories, has dropped. Want to know more? Read this article

Extras
In the need for something more positive after this news? Take a look at these pictures of spring blooms in the province Jeju.

Curious how South Koreans can beat the summer heat while wearing a facemask? Read this for more information.

In the city Daejon a café is using a robot barista which can make sixty different types of coffee. Watch this video to see how it works 

Previous stories on South Korea:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

One thought on “Isha – Week Five

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