A cluster of new coronavirus cases in South Korea has forced the closure of bars and clubs across its capital city, amid fears of a second wave of infections as the country cautiously emerges from lockdown.
South Korea reported 34 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, the biggest daily rise in a month, bringing the total number of infections to 10,874.
The country had acted swiftly to bring its initial outbreak under control, and was widely regarded as a success story because of its aggressive containment strategy.
But on Saturday, just days after restrictions were relaxed, the mayor of Seoul ordered all bars and clubs in the city to be shut, citing fears of an “explosion of infections”.
The new spike in cases are linked to a 29-year-old man who went on a night out in Seoul’s popular Itaewon district last weekend.
Now health authorities are scrambling to trace and test an estimated 1,510 people who visited the same venues as the man.
On Sunday, President Moon Jae-in said the new cluster of infections had “raised awareness that even during the stabilisation phase, similar situations can arise again anytime”.
In a speech, the president said the country must not lower its guard to the virus, adding: “It’s not over until it’s over”.