South Korea imposes fresh restrictions amid biggest coronavirus surge in five months

South Korea has imposed fresh restrictions ordering closure of museums, nightclubs and karaoke bars in Seoul as coronavirus cases hit fresh high.

The nation reported 297 new cases on Wednesday – the highest figure since March. Of the 297 infections reported, 252 were in the greater Seoul area.

Starting from Wednesday, 12 high-risk business categories including nightclubs, karaoke bars and buffet restaurants must cease operations in Seoul, Incheon and the neighbouring Gyeonggi province.

Museums have also been closed and indoor gatherings of more than 50 people, and outdoor ones of more than 100, are banned.

The recent spike in infections are mostly linked to the Sarang Jeil Church. 623 members of this Church have been infected so far, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Sarang Jeil church members rallied against  President Moon’s administration in the centre of Seoul over the weekend, ignoring warnings from health officials.

Earlier, a different place of worship, the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, which was identified as South Korea’s biggest virus cluster. The controversial group was found to be linked to more than 5,200 cases.

Otherwise until now South Korea was seen as a success story in managing the disease.

As per worldometer data South Korea has recorded 16,058 coronavirus cases, including 306 deaths. A little over 1,700 are currently active.