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S Korea reports 97 new coronavirus cases

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SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has confirmed 97 new cases of the coronavirus, a modest uptick from the daily levels reported last week, just as officials ease social distancing restrictions after concluding that transmissions have slowed following a resurgence in mid-August.
The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency Monday brought the national caseload to 24,703, including 433 deaths.
Sixty-three of the new cases came from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, home to half of the country’s 51 million people, where health workers have struggled to track infections tied to various places and groups, including churches, hospitals, schools, workers and troops.
Twenty-nine of the new cases were linked to international arrivals, including 13 passengers from Nepal, most of whom who came to South Korea for a Korean language program.
South Korea relaxed its social distancing guidelines beginning Monday, allowing high-risk businesses like nightclubs and karaoke bars to open as long as they employ preventive measures, such as requiring masks and keeping lists of visitors.
Spectators will also be re-allowed in professional sports, although teams will be initially allowed to only sell 30% of their seats in stadiums.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
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— As a second wave of coronavirus infections hit, European nations seem not to have learned their lessons from the first surge
— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismisses the latest White House offer in COVID-19 aid talks but remains hopeful progress can be made toward a deal.
— Queen Elizabeth II honors the work of doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, fundraisers and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.
SEOUL, South Korea: South Korea says it’ll will ease its social distancing rules as its caseload has continuously displayed a slowing trend ever after the five-day Chuseok autumn holidays.
Health Minister Park Neung-hoo told reporters Sunday that South Korea has counted an average of 59.4 new cases each day in the past two weeks, compared with 91.5 cases in the earlier two weeks. Earlier Sunday, South Korea reported 58 new cases, taking the country’s total to 24,606 including 432 deaths.
Under relaxed distancing guidelines effective Monday, Park says some high-risk facilities like nightclubs and karaoke bars will be allowed to reopen but they’re required to follow anti-virus steps like wearing masks and keeping a list of clients.
Park says South Korea will lift a ban on the gatherings of more than 50 people indoor and more than 100 outdoor. He says community welfare centers will also be reopened while professional sports leagues can have a limited number of fans back, up to 30% of the stadium capacity.