By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) – South Korea is witnessing tremendous pressure on its move to open schools after the country witnessed a new spike in deadly coronavirus cases.
The government said on Friday quarantine and physical distancing measures will be strictly enforced in schools while it is also mulling limiting the number of students physically attending the classes in capital Seoul, local Yonhap news agency reported.
South Korea has allowed the phase-wise opening of schools which remained closed since March this year due to the pandemic. Nearly 3 million students resumed classes early this week.
Vice Education Minister Park Baeg-beom announced elementary and middle schools will be required to cap the number of students at one-third of the total student body.
However, reports from the country today said several schools were closed due to the rise in new cases.
A Seoul-based e-commerce company has emerged as a new cluster infection. Health authorities are holding mass contract tracing operations to find any infected case.
Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 58 new COVID-19 cases, raising the nationwide total to 11,402. Some 55 of the new cases were local infections.
A total of 269 people have died due to the infection. KCDC said the fatality rate in the country was 2.36%.
More than 10,000 patients who fully recovered from the illness were released from quarantine.
South Korea conducted 885,120 tests since Jan. 3.
Meanwhile, South Korea has approved remdesivir as a treatment for coronavirus patients as health authorities have asked for imports of the drug to fight COVID-19.
The drug is being tested as a treatment for COVID-19 and has been given emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration as well as Japan.