SEOUL July 12 (Reuters) – South Korea’s baseball league on Monday halted its season for a month, as the country’s toughest prevention against COVID took effect in Seoul in an attempt to curb the worst outbreak ever.
Postponement begins Monday The government introduced the strictest level of social distancing in Seoul and surrounding areas for the first time, including a ban on gatherings of more than two people after 6 p.m. read more
The Korean baseball organization (KBO) convened an emergency board meeting on Monday to push back with a one-month season scheduled to run from Tuesday and resume after the Olympics in Tokyo on August 10.
The professional baseball league also delayed last season due to the pandemic, which had almost wiped out the world sports calendar.
South Korea registered 1,100 new cases of coronavirus on July 11, the highest recorded on a Sunday, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said, although it was below three consecutive days with peaks leading to 1378 on Friday.
The new wave of infections has so far led to fewer serious cases and deaths than in previous rounds, with many older and more vulnerable South Koreans now vaccinated against the virus.
However, the health authorities have expressed concern about the growing number of young patients who have not yet received vaccine shots, and the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant in recent outbreaks.
KDCA Director Jeong Eun-kyeong said a new study estimates that the number of confirmed daily cases will only begin to decline after reaching around 2,300 in mid-August.
“If the spread of the infection is strongly controlled, the number of daily cases is expected to remain at current levels for the next two weeks, and then begin to decrease to around 600 cases by the end of August,” Jeong said in a statement on Monday.
The latest eruption brings South Korea’s total COVID-19 cases to date to 169,146, with 2,044 deaths, well below the number seen in many other industrialized countries.
Reporting by Hyonhee Shin, Additional Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Clip by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Kenneth Maxwell and Gareth Jones
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