South Korea's domestic coronavirus cases fall to the lowest in 44 days

by Reuters
Saturday, 26 September 2020 03:45 GMT

SEOUL, Sept 26 (Reuters) - South Korea on Saturday reported 49 new domestic coronavirus cases, the smallest number of locally transmitted cases in 44 days in a sign that tighter social distancing rules are paying off.

Health officials reiterated calls on people to refrain from visiting their hometowns and meeting with relatives during the Chuseok holiday, worrying that the holiday, which runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, may lead to another spike.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 61 new coronavirus cases as of midnight Thursday, including 49 local cases, mostly in Seoul and nearby Gyeonggi Porvince.

This brings the country's total to 23,516, while deaths increased by 4 to 399.

South Korea's success in crushing early outbreaks of the coronavirus was partially reversed by its biggest outbreak in mid-August that began at a church and a political rally. Cases peaked at 441 in a single day in late August but are posting steady declines since tougher social distancing curbs have taken effect.

South Korea on Friday said it would further tighten restrictions during the Chuseok holiday weeks when people traditionally reunite with families in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area. The rules include the closure of nightclubs and bars in the Seoul area and keeping at least a 1-metre distance between tables at restaurants and cafes with more than 20 seats. (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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