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International News

Feb 15, 2021
11:45AM

South Korea eases some coronavirus curbs; to announce vaccine plan

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South Korea eased some of its strictest social distancing rules for businesses today, but kept limits on private gatherings as authorities prepared to unveil plans for the roll out of the first coronavirus vaccines later this month.
 
The decision comes after a subdued Lunar New Year holiday last week. Daily coronavirus infections rebounded to above 400 ahead of the break, but have dropped since then with the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reporting 344 new infections as of midnight Sunday.
 
The country is planning to start its vaccination programme from Feb. 26, details of which are due to be announced by the head of the KDCA later in the day. Healthcare workers and older residents will be among the first to be vaccinated.
 
Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol, however, urged caution as infection clusters continue to plague the densely populated capital of Seoul and neighbouring areas.
 
Curfews have been removed for cinemas, internet cafes, cram schools, theme parks, large supermarkets, and hair salons. Private gatherings of more than four people are still banned across the country. The country had reported a total of 83,869 COVID-19 infections as of Sunday, with 1,527 deaths.

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