South Korea: New curbs, fines amid fresh spike in COVID-19 cases

Updated: 24 August, 2020 10:39 IST | Agencies | Seoul

Concerned the COVID-19 epidemic is getting out of control, South Korea steps up restrictions nationwide; Britain announces hefty fines for illegal gatherings of more than 30 people, like raves

In this file photo taken on August 10, 2020, people dance and attend a rave party in Causse Mejean, France, despite the limitation of gatherings linked to COVID-19, which has infected 2,38,002 in the country. Pic/AFP
In this file photo taken on August 10, 2020, people dance and attend a rave party in Causse Mejean, France, despite the limitation of gatherings linked to COVID-19, which has infected 2,38,002 in the country. Pic/AFP

Beaches and churches are closed and baseball games will be played in empty stadiums on Sunday after South Korea added hundreds to its growing coronavirus caseload amid concerns the epidemic is getting out of control.

The 397 new cases marked the 10th day of triple-digit increases and indicated that the speed of viral spread was nearing the levels last seen during the worst of the outbreak in spring. KCDC Director Jeong Eun-kyeong said, “We don’t see the current state as the peak ... we believe that infections could further increase. Patients are increasing not only in Seoul, but also across the 17 (major) cities and provinces.”

On Sunday, officials banned gatherings of over 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, closed karaoke rooms, buffet restaurants and computer-gaming cafes. People in Seoul will have to wear masks in public, starting Monday.

397
No. of new cases South Korea reported on Sunday

Pakistan reports only 4 new deaths

Pakistani authorities on Sunday reported only four new COVID-19 fatalities, the fewest daily deaths since March. With 591 new cases, the country’s caseload rose to 2,75,836, including 6,275 deaths. Meanwhile, a new cluster emerged in Singapore’s biggest dormitory for foreign workers about a month after it was declared to be fully cleared of the virus. About 16,000 workers live there. With 87 new cases, the national tally of the COVDI-19 cases has reached 56,353.

Tougher fines for raves in UK

The UK government on Sunday confirmed plans to impose tougher fines of up to £10,000 on illegal gatherings, parties and raves of over 30 people to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Police in England will have the power to enforce new measures starting next Friday, with the devolved administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to set their own enforcement rules. Besides, £100 fine will continue to be issued to those who participate in such illegal gatherings and those who have already received a fine will see the amount doubled on each offence, up to a maximum of £3,200.

In London, Scotland Yard reports responding to over 1,000 unlicensed events since the end of June, receiving information on over 200 in a single weekend. Meanwhile, cases continued to surge in Italy, which reported 1,071 new cases on Saturday, but the government is against re-imposing a lockdown. “We will not have a new lockdown. I am optimistic, although prudent. Our national health service has become much stronger,” the Guardian quoted Health Minister Roberto Speranza as saying.

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First Published: 24 August, 2020 09:02 IST

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