South Korea is closing schools and switching back to remote learning in Seoul after the country counted its 12th straight day of triple-digit daily increases in coronavirus cases.


Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae said that at least 193 students and teachers were found infected over the past two weeks in the Seoul metropolitan region, where a viral surge has threatened to erase the country’s hard-won epidemiological gains.

South Korea’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported 280 new cases of Covid-19, pushing the 12-day total to 3,175. The country’s caseload is now at 17,945, including 310 deaths.

Yoo said most children at kindergartens, elementary, middle and high schools will receive online classes at least until Sept. 11. High-school seniors will continue to go to school so their studies are not disrupted ahead of the crucial national college exams.

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The country since Sunday has banned larger gatherings, shut down nightspots and churches and removed fans from professional sports nationwide. Officials say the country could be forced to elevate social distancing restrictions if the virus doesn’t slow after this week, measures that would batter an already weak economy.

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