Seoul, Feb 17 (IANS) South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Wednesday expressed concerns over the citizens seemingly waning vigilance against the Covid-19 pandemic, even as the daily new infections have risen substantially since the authorities eased social distancing norms a few days back.
“It’s been three days since the easing of social distancing rules but the number of patients has surpassed 600 for the first time in 39 days,” Chung said during an interagency meeting on the Covid-19 response held at the government complex in Seoul, Yonhap news agency reported.
South Korea’s daily new coronavirus cases increased by the most in more than a month to 621 Wednesday, prompting concerns over a virus resurgence after the Lunar New Year holiday amid social distancing rules that were eased on Monday.
Chung said he considered the loosening of the public’s sense of vigilance against the pandemic more worrisome than the precarious situation of antivirus measures, which he said is comparable to “walking on thin ice.”
“There are reports of violations of antivirus measures, such as non-mask wearing and disobeying of dance restriction rules at night clubs from 5 a.m.,” Chung said. “Reportedly, there are also people who move to lodging facilities to continue drinking after bars shut down at 10 p.m. due to business restrictions,” he added.
The Prime Minister stressed that the government’s easing of Covid-safety norm was not intended to loosen the authorities’ guard against the pandemic but to guarantee the livelihoods of small businesses while maintaining strict virus measures.
He again asked the public to cooperate with the government’s virus measures in order to stabilize the situation ahead of the nation’s public vaccination program that begins later this month and the opening of schools in March.