Korea reported two additional cases of the new coronavirus, which were all imported cases, continuing to see no local virus cases for three days in a row with eased quarantine measures on Wednesday.
The accumulated number of Covid-19 cases reached 10,806, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). All additional cases were from abroad, pushing up the imported patients to 1,104.
One additional patient died of the Covid-19 as of midnight Tuesday, inching up the total to 255. Medical institutions have discharged 50 more fully cured patients, increasing the number of recovered people to 9,333.
At a daily coronavirus task force meeting, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun stressed that stringent preventive measures are required for opening schools and re-boosting the sputtering economy.
Prime Minister Chung said Wednesday that the nation began to restore daily life under a thorough preventive measure on the first day of transition to the “daily life quarantine” scheme.
The social distancing rules, which lasted for 45 days from March 22 to the Children’s Day, were shifted to the daily life quarantine system, allowing some social and economic activities sequentially.
“Experts are warning of a possible secondary Covid-19 epidemic. We should gear up our countermeasure system against the pandemic by strengthening prevention capability as we have stabilized ahead of other nations,” Chung said.
The nation will keep measures relevant to Covid-19, including the mask distribution system, even after the alert level for the pandemic is lowered, the health authorities said Tuesday.
The government is discussing whether to lower the alert level as the nation continues to see no new domestic infections and confirm single-digit cases daily, turning back the situation to before the super-spreading from the 31st confirmed patient in Daegu, North Gyeongsang Province.
Earlier, when the government decided to shift to daily life quarantine from Wednesday, Prime Minister Chung requested the Ministry of Health and Welfare and KCDC to discuss ways to adjust the alert level if the flattened curve continues.
As the nation is carrying out the newly modified daily life quarantine system for Covid-19 from Wednesday, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) began to formulate the budget for 2021 and requested each ministry to restructure 10 percent of discretionary spending.
The MOEF informed detailed guidelines for compiling the budget and fund management plan for 2021 to each ministry on Wednesday.
Each ministry will submit the revised budget plan before the end of May.
An official of the finance ministry explained that the decision was made to prepare financial conditions to overcome the crisis, boost economic vitality, and secure a budget for rapidly increasing financial demand in industries of new growth engines while the economic recession caused by the pandemic worsened.
As the central government showed confidence in responding to Covid-19 infections including asymptomatic cases, local governments began to reopen public facilities such as museums with the transition of daily life quarantine measure.
Siheung, Gyeonggi Province, reopened its Museums Exhibiting the History and Data of Siheung, Changjo Natural History Museum, Sojeon Art Gallery, and Oido Museum on Wednesday.
These facilities were closed since February when the nation raised the infectious diseases alert to the highest level.
Although the local governments resumed the operation of public facilities, they placed safety equipment such as fever detectors, hand sanitizers, and face masks.
The facilities are planning to break up the visitors in groups of 20 to maintain distance from each other and minimize contact.
In addition, they will keep visitor lists and quarantine managers will check whether guests show respiratory symptoms.
However, the Oido Museum only allows individual visits, not in groups.
Starting from Wednesday, Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi Province, also reopened four municipal libraries at Gwangmyeong, Cheolsan, Soha, Chunghyeon, and a small one called Ongdalsaem Library.
Other 43 small local libraries can decide opening day without governmental restrictions.
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