Seoul closes most schools as corona cases skyrocket

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South Korea has ordered the closure of all schools and kindergartens in the greater Seoul area following a sharp rise in coronavirus infections.

South Korea has reported 17,945 infections and 310 deaths since the pandemic began. However, over the past two weeks, nearly 200 students and staff have tested positive in the greater Seoul area, prompting authorities to warn that the country is on the brink of a nationwide outbreak.

The education ministry said that online learning will continue until September 11.

The beginning of the spring semester had been postponed several times since March, but as daily coronavirus cases dropped sharply since a February peak, most schools reopened in stages between May 20 and June 1.

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of doctors launched a nationwide strike to reject the government plans to boost the number of medical students across several years, establish public medical schools, and allow government insurance to cover more oriental medicine.

They said the money would be better spent on improving pay and conditions to encourage more people to work outside Seoul.