South Korea reported 63 new coronavirus cases as of Thursday (July 2), most from domestic infections outside Seoul, triggering the return of tighter social distancing curbs in one city as the spectre of a second wave of the disease worried authorities.
For the first time in almost two months, new daily cases from other cities surpassed those from Seoul area. The southwestern city of Gwangju has recorded more than 50 cases the past few days, prompting the suspension of operations at public facilities such as libraries and museums.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a meeting on Friday (July 3) that the government is seeking ways to support Gwangju city and immediately upgraded its social distancing guidelines.
The recent spikes are concerning as new clusters are emerging in wide range of areas, making it harder for epidemiological surveys. But with the case numbers still manageable, local governments will each decide whether to upgrade their guidelines, Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip told a briefing.
The new cases took South Korea’s tally to 12,967 with 282 deaths by midnight on Thursday. (Reuters)
MANILA, Philippines – A total of 425 stranded overseas Filipinos in South Korea have arrived in the country, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
In a statement, the DFA said the repatriated Filipinos landed in Manila on June 23 via two special flights – Korean Air KE 623 and Asiana Airlines OZ 703.
The special flights were arranged by the Philippine Embassy in Seoul, with the support of the DFA, Department of Labor and Employment, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and the Manila International Airport Authority in cooperation with Korean Air and Asiana Airlines.
“We will continue to work hard to extend vital assistance to our nationals here in South Korea, including arranging special passenger flights for our stranded kababayans so they can be reunited with their loved ones back home,” Charge d’Affaires, a.i. (CDA) Christian De Jesus said.
Prior to their departure, the repatriated Filipinos underwent briefing on the procedures for COVID-19 testing and quarantine upon their arrival in Manila. They also received vitamins and face masks from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.
To date, the Philippine Embassy in Seoul has facilitated the return of close to 700 Filipinos in South Korea, both residents and transiting passengers, the DFA said.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has presided over a meeting of the ruling party’s Central Military Commission and decided to suspend military action plans against South Korea, the official KCNA news agency reported on Wednesday (June 24).
The video conference meeting on Tuesday (June 23) also discussed documents outlining measures for “further bolstering the war deterrent of the country,” KCNA reported.
The committee members “took stock of the prevailing situation” before deciding to suspend the military plans, the report said, without elaborating.
Political tensions between the rival Koreas have been rising over Pyongyang’s objections to plans by defector-led groups in the South to fly propaganda leaflets over to the North. (Reuters)
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