SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has confirmed 97 new cases of the coronavirus, a modest uptick from the daily levels reported last week, just as officials ease social distancing restrictions after concluding that transmissions have slowed following a resurgence in mid-August.
The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency Monday brought the national caseload to 24,703, including 433 deaths.
Sixty-three of the new cases came from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 51 million people, where health workers have struggled to track infections tied to various places and groups, including churches, hospitals, schools, workers and troops.
Twenty-nine of the new cases were linked to international arrivals, including 13 passengers from Nepal, most of whom who came to South Korea for a Korean language program.
South Korea relaxed its social distancing guidelines beginning Monday, allowing high-risk businesses like nightclubs and karaoke bars to open as long as they employ preventive measures, such as requiring masks and keeping lists of visitors.
Spectators will also be re-allowed in professional sports, although teams will be initially allowed to only sell 30% of their seats in stadiums.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— The White House doctor says President Donald Trump is no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus but did not say whether Trump had tested negative. Some medical experts are skeptical that Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early.
— Trump makes speech from White House balcony, 1st appearance since return to residence
— India’s coronavirus cases top 7 million, a re on track to surpass the United States
— As a second wave of coronavirus infections hit, European nations seem not to have learned their lessons from the first surge
— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismisses the latest White House offer in COVID-19 aid talks but remains hopeful progress can be made toward a deal.
— Queen Elizabeth II honors the work of doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, fundraisers and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.
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