South Korean schools: hundreds after reopening close again

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A worker sprays disinfectant in a classroom at a high school in Seoul earlier this month. South Korea has been held up as a global model in how to curb the coronavirus.

Parks, art galleries, museums and theaters managed by the government in the metropolitan area of ​​Seoul – which houses about half of the country’s population of nearly 52 million – have been closed to the public for the next two weeks.

Government-hosted events in the metropolitan area will also be canceled or postponed, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said Thursday. The authorities recommended that private academies and internet cafes also be closed until June 14th.

Park also asked people living in the Seoul metropolitan area to refrain from going out or organizing events for the next two weeks.

The coronavirus epidemic includes a cluster in a logistics center in Bucheon. Almost 100 cases had been linked to the logistics center cluster since Friday, Deputy Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said in a briefing. So far, 3,836 people out of 4,351 workers and visitors to the center have been tested.

Everyone who has been working in the logistics center since May 12 should self-quarantine and test for coronavirus, said the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and any students or teachers who live in a house with a worker at the center. should stay home.

South Korea has been advocated as a model of how to limit the spread of coronavirus without a generalized block, thanks to rigorous testing, contact traceability and quarantine program.

His struggle to prevent new outbreaks of the disease, despite these rigorous measures, highlights the difficulties other nations can expect to face by easing blocking restrictions.

Some of the schools that closed again on Friday were only reopened in the past few days. Their students will switch to remote learning, said Deputy Minister of Education Park Baeg-beom.

High schools in the Seoul metropolitan area can have only two thirds of their student population at a time until June 14, Park added, and kindergartens, elementary, middle and special schools can only admit one third of their students at a time .

As of Thursday, 838 schools across the country have postponed the reopening of schools and continued with online lessons, Park said.

As of Friday 11,402 total cases had been reported in South Korea. There have been 269 deaths and 770 patients are currently in isolation.

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