South Korea’s new Covid-19 cases underline the perils of reopening

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The weekend before last, a 29-year-old South Korean man visited five nightclubs in Seoul, where he partied with around 7,200 other people. Five days later — on the same day South Korea relaxed social distancing measures — he tested positive for Covid-19, becoming the country’s first local infection in four days.

According to South Korean health officials, nearly 80 new Covid-19 cases have been linked to the man’s outing in the Itaewon neighborhood. And on Monday, officials announced 35 new confirmed infections — the highest total in about a month — of which 29 may have originated from those five nightclubs.

This means South Korea, one of the world’s top examples for how to combat the coronavirus, may soon become the poster child for the dangers of reopening a country.

The coronavirus situation in South Korea seemed so stable, in fact, that the country held a nationwide election last month with no major public health repercussions reported so far. And just under two weeks ago, South Korea reported no new domestic coronavirus cases.

Last Wednesday, then, the government chose to loosen — with major caveats — the social distancing restrictions that had been imposed since March 22.

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Article submitted by, Great Gazoo.