President Moon Jae-in urged South Korea to brace for the second wave of a coronavirus epidemic.
South Korea was gripped with a sense of panic and anxiety after a 29-year-old man infected with a new coronavirus made a overnight trip through gay bars and dance clubs in the epicenter of gay nightlife not far away from downtown Seoul, triggering a cluster of infections. On May 8, health officials reported 15 new COVID-19 cases, including three foreigners and an army staff sergeant. They can all be traced to a man who had visited five bars and clubs for five days starting from 11:00 p.m. on May 1 in Itaewon, a hotspot for nightlife in Seoul.South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged South Korea to brace for the second wave of a coronavirus epidemic as a new outbreak originating from gay clubs spread, leaving more than 50 people infected and threatens to dampen the efforts taken for the prevention of COVID-19.
"The crisis is not over yet, and an even bigger challenge remains," Moon said Sunday in a speech. "The infection cluster which recently occurred in entertainment facilities has raised awareness that, even during the stabilization phase, similar situations can arise again anytime, anywhere in an enclosed, crowded space. It’s not over until it’s over." Moon stressed that South Korea should not lower its guard. "While keeping enhanced alertness till the end, we must never lower our guard regarding epidemic prevention," he said, adding South Korea should maintain its right quarantine and medical systems combined with experience to respond quickly to any unexpected infection clusters."We should also brace for the pandemic’s second wave, which many experts are predicting. However, we cannot afford to keep waiting until then to return to normal daily lives," the president warned.Moon vowed to upgrade South Korea's public health and disease-controlling system. "We will significantly enhance our public healthcare system and ability to respond to infectious diseases to build a safer Republic of Korea. These tasks are very urgent if we are to prepare for the second epidemic wave that experts predict will hit this fall or winter."