COVID-19 in South Korea

South Korea // 25 September, 2020

At least 23,455 cases and 395 deaths. The latest updates on COVID-19 in South Korea can be found on the Ministry of Health website. ESRI Korea has also created an interactive dashboard (in Korean) detailing affected locations and case counts.

Status: Decreasing Activity

25 September:  The majority of cases in the country are centered mainly around Seoul and surrounding provinces.  Schools have reopened with a hybrid model of online and in-person teaching. Social distancing measures are expected to be tightened ahead of the Chuseok holidays (30Sept - 4 October).

10 September: The majority of cases are still centred mainly around Seoul and surrounding provinces.The restrictions, due to expire 6 September, were extended to 13 September. Coffee shops are only allowed to serve take away drinks and meals, gyms and bowling alleys also remain closed. Since the number of new cases reported has been decreasing, South Korea has moved out of Increasing Activity category and is now in Decreasing Activity.

26 August: Over 18,000 cases have now been reported in South Korea. New cases are mostly being reported in Seoul as well as in Incheon and Gyeonggi provinces, schools have been temporarily shut in these areas. Cases have been linked to clusters associated to locations/activities where people gather including at; cafes, restaurants, public saunas, hair salons, fitness centers and churches.

22 August: The ongoing detection of new cases has around Seoul and other cities has lead the government to re-impose social distancing measures. From 23 August restrictions of large gatherings have been banned including; in-person church meetings, nightclubs, bars and cybercafes.

18 August: Ongoing cases have led to South Korea moving back into the 'increasing activity' category. A cluster of cases linked to a church in northern Seoul has led to over 430 cases to date - the second largest cluster that the country has experienced. Thousands of people who attended the church recently are being tested. At least 15,761 cases and 306 deaths have been confirmed.

16 August: More than 279 new infections, marking the thirds consecutive day with triple-digit new case counts. Seoul and the Gyeonggi Province accounted for 85 percent of the new infections. They are now at Level 2 (on a three-tiered response system) and will be for two weeks. Thousands of contacts are being traced and tested.

15 August: The nation has reported its highest daily case count since early March, with 166 new infections. Nearly all were infected locally. Clusters have been tied to two different churches in the Seoul metropolitan area. All churches in the area are now ordered to refrain from large gatherings and to require infection control measures such as masks. In Seoul and Gyeonggi province, spectators are no longer allowed at sporting events. Large gatherings are banned.

14 Aug: Another spike of over 100 cases reported in a day since late July. Health officials are closely monitoring the situation in the community due to the recent summer vacation period which caused an uptick of domestic travel. Seoul, Busan, Gwangju and Ulsan have reported cases more recently.

25 July: Over a hundred cases were reported in a day, first time in a at least four months. Majority are in returning travellers.

14 July: The new cases reported in South Korea are a mixture of imported cases as well as sporadic clusters. At least 11 case have been linked to the greater Seoul area. Sporadic cases have also been reported in the central and southwestern regions.

3 July: Around 30 to 50 new cases of COVID-19 have been consistently detected each day over the past couple of weeks. A number of small clusters are being tracked in Seoul as well as in Gwangju city and in Gyeonggi province. View the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention press briefings for more information about the clusters.

See the June news items here.

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