Drug trials give hope as COVID-19 fuels job losses


South Korea detected its first case of new coronavirus on January 20, in a Chinese tourist arriving from the zero city of Wuhan. But it was not until infections began to spread rapidly among members of a religious sect in the city of Daegu in February that the epidemic hit South Korea hard. At the height of the epidemic, nearly 1,000 new cases were confirmed daily in South Korea.

On Thursday, however, there was good news.

“For the first time in 72 days, we have had no new national cases,” wrote President Moon Jae-in on his Facebook page.

South Korea still had a handful of new cases on Thursday, but they were imported from abroad, into people flying into the country from the United States or Europe.

As a six-day vacation begins in South Korea, there is concern that the country’s success in removing COVID-19 may be tested.

Some 240 flights to Jeju, a tourist island at the southern tip of the country, are scheduled every day during the holiday season, and these flights are already 60-70% booked.

South Koreans celebrate Buddha's birthday amid coronavirus pandemic
Buddhist believers burn incense on a Buddha’s birthday and prayer service to defeat the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) at Jogyesa Temple on April 30, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.


J.H. Shin, a data researcher in Seoul, told CBS News that she plans to travel to Jeju because after a month of homework, she wants to “get out of town and rest alone.”

When asked if she was afraid of traveling with the coronavirus, she said that she “couldn’t ignore COVID-19”, and that she was bringing her masks and hand sanitizer, and even if she knew that she “cannot walk around much”, at least she will have a view of the sea.


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