Daily infections fall below 3,000, country's guard up as in-person classes resume

Daily infections fall below 3,000, country's guard up as in-person classes resume
Students arrive at their junior high school in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, on Monday, as in-person school classes at all kindergartens, elementary, middle and high schools across the country resumed the same day for the first time since the pandemic broke out nearly two years ago. (Yonhap)South Korea’s new coronavirus cases fell below 3,000 for the first time in six days Monday due to fewer tests over the weekend, but concerns remain high over a virus resurgence amid eased social distancing rules and this week’s full-fledged reopening of schools.

The country reported 2,827 new COVID-19 cases, including 2,086 local infections, raising the total caseload to 418,252, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

This marked the first time in six days that the daily infections have fallen below 3,000, though the figure has remained in the quadruple digits since July 7.

Daily virus caseloads tend to decrease on weekends and holidays due to fewer virus tests.

The country added 24 more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 3,298, with the fatality rate standing at 0.79 percent. The number of critically ill COVID-19 patients reached 515, down two from a day earlier.

On Monday, all elementary, middle and high schools nationwide resumed full-fledged in-person classes in line with the government’s “living with COVID-19” policy meant to bring the country gradually back to pre-pandemic normalcy amid high vaccination rates.

Under the first phase, people are allowed to gather in groups of up to 10, regardless of vaccinations. Operation hour curfews for businesses, like restaurants, cafes and movie theaters, are fully lifted, except for nightlife establishments, such as clubs and bars.

Concerns of an upsurge in infections are growing as eased social distancing rules and the return of students to classes could spark a fast spread of the coronavirus virus among at-risk people and many unvaccinated teens. (Yonhap)

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