S. Korea cautiously starts relaxing lockdown measures

    South Koreans have been returning to work and play as the country slowly relaxes social distancing rules amid a sharp drop in coronavirus cases, though experts warn against complacency.

    According to reports, South Korea posted the fewest number of new coronavirus cases since its surge in February due to a religious sect that brought daily infections to almost 1,000. 

    The country reported only eight new cases in a 24 hour period. The government has kept its social distancing rules in place until May 5. 

    Compared to the United States, which has confirmed 26,889 cases in the same period of time. 

    However, Jung Eun-Kyeong, director of the country’s Center for Disease Control warns against being too optimistic. 

    “We remain nervous as we could be missing some infection cases and those with no or few symptoms could come in close contact with others, for a possible spike in new cases later.”

    Some restrictions will be eased, including church services, even though the social distancing campaign will remain. 

    “The best practice will be to continue social distancing, but with everyone quite exhausted with it, keeping it is not realistic,” said Prime Minister Chung Sye-Kyun at a meeting. 

    “Frustration from restricted daily life is not the only thing we should endure as we’re also sacrificing the economic activities. We now had to find a compromise, also reducing risks.”

    He said the country could go back to normal on May 6 if the virus situation remains under control.