Home ยป Lockdowns toughen in Seoul and Sydney as Delta variant Covid-19 outbreaks grow

Lockdowns toughen in Seoul and Sydney as Delta variant Covid-19 outbreaks grow

by Arifa Rana

To tackle escalating breakouts of the Delta type in both cities, the capital of South Korea and Australia’s largest metropolis declared on Friday that they will enhance their Covid-19 prevention measures.

Level 4 of South Korea’s four-tier social distancing system is the most severe. With a population of 25 million people, the Seoul Metropolitan Area was under distancing level 2, which prohibited gatherings of more than four people and dining in restaurants after 10 p.m. 

In addition to existing limitations, the new law will prohibit private gatherings of more than two individuals after 6 p.m., including in restaurants. Most public events, including as exhibitions and rallies, will be prohibited, and only family members will be permitted to attend weddings and funerals.

“We have no place to go because this is the highest distancing measure,” Kim stated, advising the public to refrain from assembling starting Friday.

From next Wednesday, Seoul and surrounding area schools will switch to online education, according to Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae. The schools will remain online until the start of summer break, which will be in one or two weeks, according to Yoo.

Kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as special-education schools, are all affected.

According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, South Korea reported 1,316 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, the highest single-day increase yet (KDCA). According to the KDCA, 1,236 of the cases were locally transmitted, with 78 percent of them being discovered in the Seoul Metropolitan Area. According to KDCA Commissioner Jeong Eun-kyeong, the number of Delta variant illnesses is continuously increasing, with the likelihood of it becoming the dominant strain in August.

“The incidences are increasing among those in their 20s and 30s who are more active and tend to be asymptomatic or have just minor symptoms,” said Jeong.

Sydney toughens lockdown

Sydney declared on the same day that it would beef up its Covid-19 protection measures as the Delta variant’s proliferation accelerates in the city.

People in Sydney are only allowed to buy for necessities as of Friday, are not permitted to exercise in groups of more than two, and are not permitted to leave a 10-kilometer radius of their houses unless absolutely required.

The lockdown, which started on June 26, is expected to last until at least 16 July.

“Do not believe the NSW government believes we can live with this (virus) when our vaccination rate is under 9 percent,” she said. “Because if we continue to live with this when vaccination rates are at 9%, we will witness tens of thousands more hospitalizations and fatalities.”

According to NSW Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerry Chant, the number of people classified close contacts of a Covid-19 case has increased to 14,000, up from 7,000 on Thursday.

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