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South Korea warns of first potential lockdown as coronavirus numbers continue to rise

In South Korea, health officials have warned of the government enacting the country’s first lockdown since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic due to an alarming increase in new infections per day. South Korea has been considered as a model for effective Covid-19 response measures, earning praise after halting the spread of the initial outbreak and curbing new infections ever since, until recently. South Korea has managed to avoid lockdown measures experienced elsewhere in the world, such as in several European countries and the US.

On Wednesday, senior Health Ministry official Yoon Tae-ho urged residents to comply with social distancing measures and to refrain from engaging in big gatherings and activities during which the virus is easily spread. The warning specifically mentioned the Seoul Metropolitan area, which accounts for roughly half of the country’s population and currently has the most cases. The current restrictions are at a 2.5 on the country’s scale, with 3 meaning a full lockdown.

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