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Busan closes beaches, bans gatherings of 3 or more people in evenings

Busan closes beaches, bans gatherings of 3 or more people in evenings

Posted August. 09, 2021 07:22,   

Updated August. 09, 2021 07:22


The social distancing level is being raised in Busan to follow suit of the Seoul metropolitan region. Seven beaches in Busan including Haeundae and Gwanganli beaches will be outright closed. The Busan metropolitan city said, “The social distancing level is being elevated to Level 4, effective 12 a.m. on Tuesday.” The measure will remain in effect through 12 a.m. on August 22. In addition to shutdown of beaches, large public places including major discount stores and department stores will only be allowed to open until 10:00 p.m. Previously on Friday, the city said it would maintain social distancing Level 3 and administrative order banning operation of bars and clubs, but has reversed its plan two days later to beef up quarantine.

This effectively demonstrates the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic in provincial regions apart from the Seoul metropolitan region. The number of confirmed cases in the provincial regions reached 703 as of 12 a.m. on Sunday, surpassing the 700 mark for the first time since the onset of the fourth wave in Korea. The total number of confirmed cases across the nation also hit 1,729 in the past weekend, the highest for a weekend.

What is more dangerous is that the number of asymptomatic patients and patients who only suffer mild symptoms after infection is surging. According to data submitted to Rep. Nam In-soon of the ruling Democratic Party by the National Disaster Safety and Countermeasure Headquarters, the number of patients who were kept at community treatment centers after confirmation of infection before being transferred to infectious disease hospitals or treatment beds amounted to 196 in the fourth week of July. The number represents a six-fold increase from the first week (34) of April.

Keun-Hyung Yoo noel@donga.com