South Korea delays start of school term over coronavirus outbreak
Song Jung-a reports from Seoul
South Korea reported an additional 600 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, prompting the government to further postpone the beginning of the new school year by two weeks.
The new cases take the total number of infections to 4,812, with 28 deaths. Tests are under way for 35,555 people, while 85,484 have tested negative.
Education minister Yoo Eun-hye today announced that schools would now reopen on March 23, three weeks later than usual, to protect students from the spread of the virus. Last month, she extended school breaks by one week.
US Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday that South Korean travelers taking direct flights to the US will undergo coronavirus screenings, including multiple temperature checks at all airports in South Korea before departure.
His announcement came after the US State Department raised the travel advisory for South Korea’s hardest-struck city of Daegu to the highest level. The rest of South Korea is under the second-highest travel advisory, which urges Americans to reconsider travel to the country.
More than half of South Korea’s infections have been linked to the Shincheonji church in Daegu, the country’s fourth-largest city with 2.4m residents. Lee Man-hee, the leader of the religious sect who has tested negative for the virus, has publicly apologised for the explosion in infections.
The country’s stock market climbed on Tuesday, with the Kospi Composite index gaining 1.2 per cent to 2,026.12. The South Korean won also pared losses, trading up 0.29 per cent at 1,190.50 against the dollar.