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New coronavirus cases fall to single digits in South Korea

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:27s - Published
New coronavirus cases fall to single digits in South Korea

New coronavirus cases fall to single digits in South Korea

South Korea has extended its social distancing policies for another 16 days, but offered some relief to churches and sporting fixtures, as it reported just eight new coronavirus cases - the lowest level in two months.

David Doyle reports.

South Korea extended it social distancing rules for another 16 days on Sunday (April 19) albeit with a degree of relaxation, as it reported the lowest level of coronavirus infections in two months.

(SOUNDBITE) (Korean) DIRECTOR OF SOUTH KOREA'S CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (KCDC), JEONG EUN-KYEONG, SAYING:"Out of the eight new cases which confirmed yesterday, five cases were overseas inflow and three cases were community infection." South Korea has largely managed to bring its outbreak under control and new cases have recently been hovering at around 20.

Authorities say they now want to find a social distancing "middle ground".

In March, Seoul issued an administrative order strongly recommending religious, indoor sports and entertainment facilities such as nightclubs suspend operations.

On Sunday that language was softened, allowing facilities to restart operations as long as they comply with disinfection guidelines.

That means, for example, that the popular Korea Basketball Organization can resume matches without audiences.

Earlier this year South Korea had Asia's largest number of infections outside China but it has since been overtaken by other countries.

On Sunday President Moon Jae-in said South Korea's progress gave hope that COVID-19 was "surmountable" in other parts of the world.

On Saturday (April 18), he spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump, who expressed his appreciation for South Korea's help in procuring testing kits for the United States.




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