South Korea nightclub cases highlight fear of second coronavirus wave

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The difficulty in trying to reopen economies without rekindling coronavirus outbreaks was highlighted on Monday as concern grew in South Korea about a second wave of infections that was spread through newly reopened nightclubs.

South Korea’s government had felt confident enough to reopen much of its economy after several weeks of seeing cases increase by just a handful each day. But on Monday, new cases jumped by at least 35 after the outbreak in the nightclubs, which have been temporarily closed down again.

China also saw a second day of double-digit increases, with five new cases in the city of Wuhan, the original epicenter of the pandemic where a strict lockdown was lifted last month. The government reminded people to step up personal protection against the virus.

A balancing act continues to play out the world over, with leaders starting to loosen lockdowns that have left millions unemployed while also warning of the threat of a second wave of infections.

In the U.S., Trump administration officials spoke optimistically about a relatively quick rebound from the virus. But life within the White House reflected the stark challenges still posed by the pandemic, with Vice President Mike Pence “self-isolating” after one of his aides tested positive.

In South Korea, authorities are combing through credit-card and mobile-phone records, and security camera footage, to track thousands of people who visited a popular Seoul entertainment district in recent weeks. Seoul’s mayor said 85 infections are linked to the outbreak and health workers are still trying to contact more than 3,000 people of the 5,500 who recently visited the nightspots.

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