Our top story today, amid growing concerns over continuing COVID-19 cluster infections especially from schools, South Korea’s education ministry unveiled strengthened measures to prevent children from getting infected.
It will dispatch testing teams that will visit schools for PCR testing and has designated the next three weeks as a special prevention period.
For more on this we have Kim Do-yeon on the line for us.
Do-yeon, tell us more on the latest measures. ?
Good morning, Mok-yeon.
The Education Minister, Yoo Eun-hae says the ministry will tighten its grip on keeping students safe as since the beginning of the semester in March there have been more than 2,000 cases among students and teachers.
One new measure introduced in Seoul, is a group of testers that will seek out anyone without symptoms that wants to be tested.
If this seems helpful, the ministry will expand the measure to the rest of the country.
As you mentioned, there will be a special prevention period implemented by the ministry up until May 11th
"The Ministry of Education will run an on-site inspection team to inspect all facilities under the ministry's jurisdiction including kindergartens, elementary, middle, high schools, college, and prep schools. I will be in charge of this until June."
She says that during the period, education facilities including private prep schools and after school facilities will be subject to inspections to ensure they are following prevention measures.
There also will be a prevention task force created for university campuses.
It will be comprised of both university personnel and ministry employees and they will work to make sure important messages and measures are communicated swiftly.
Okay, so how is the COVID-19 situation looking as a whole? Is the country faring well with the number of cases?
Mok-yeon, as for the country itself, South Korea reported 731 new cases on Wednesday.
Of those 692 were local transmissions.
This is a spike of nearly 200 cases from the day before and sees us back to the 700's for the first time in a week.
The reason for the jump seems to be due to lower numbers recorded after reduced testing center operations over the weekend, and now the number reflects the situation more clearly.
That's all I have for now, back to you, Mok-yeon.