The government has officially confirmed that the'third epidemic' of Corona 19 is currently in progress around the metropolitan area.

Taeho Yoon, head of the Central Accident Control Headquarters (Jungsubon), said at a regular briefing held today (20th) at the Government Complex Sejong, "In the case of the metropolitan area, the trend toward a large-scale epidemic is becoming more and more clear." Following the last February to March and August, it is judged that the third outbreak is in progress.”

As of today's 0 o'clock, 363 new cases were confirmed, and 68% of the 320 local outbreaks excluding overseas inflows (43), or 218 were from the metropolitan area.

Also, looking at the daily average number of confirmed cases for a week from the 14th to today, 67.1% of the 228, or 153, occurred in the metropolitan area, and 25 others in the Honam area and 17 in the Gangwon area.

Commenting on these statistics, Yun said, "Because of the rapid spread of infection in Seoul, the number of patients in the metropolitan area continues to increase by around 200 every day. Sporadic group infections continue to increase in other regions."

He continued, "If the trend of the increase in patients in the metropolitan area continues without mitigating, and the average number of patients per day for one week reaches 200, and meets the second-stage criteria (the 1.5-stage application period), the second-stage upgrade will be considered even if less than two weeks have passed. "I emphasized.

The reason why the government officially mentioned the'third epidemic' today is because it judged that it is entering a larger epidemic phase as the spread of Corona 19 has increased recently.

Regarding this, Sohn Young-rae, head of the Strategic Planning Division, said, "Since the rate of increase in patients has been accelerating since last week, we decided to raise the level of'social distancing' (in the metropolitan area and in some regions). It was diagnosed as a situation in which a number of small group infections are sporadically appearing throughout daily life.

"In this aspect, the spread of this infection now has room for further spreading rather than stabilizing for the time being," Son added, "I think it is entering a phase of a big outbreak."

The government has again called for strict compliance with quarantine rules, such as distance, to block the spread of Corona 19.

"For the time being, all meetings and appointments will be postponed or canceled, and you should refrain from using indoor multi-use facilities, especially saunas or indoor sports facilities where masks are difficult to wear." "If you have fever or respiratory symptoms, go to work or go to school. Don’t do it, you have to get tested quickly.”

He continued, "If we cannot block the current spread, we can enter a nationwide pandemic phase on a scale of more than last February to March (first pandemic)," he said. "I ask everyone to fight with the government with a sense of crisis this weekend. "I ask you to refrain from going out and meetings and stay at home if it is not absolutely necessary."

On the other hand, it was found that the amount of citizens' movement over the past weekend (11.14-15) decreased compared to the previous weekend.

In the case of the metropolitan area, the number of mobile phone movements decreased by 1.1% from the previous weekend to 35.89 million cases, and the nationwide total decreased by 1.2% to 74032,000 cases.

During the same period, the combined use of public transportation (buses, subways, and taxis) in the metropolitan area was 23116,000, down 1.5% from the previous weekend.

In addition, card sales in the metropolitan area were KRW 1,279 trillion and KRW 2,173.3 billion in the whole country, down 2.6% and 1% from the previous weekend, respectively.

(Photo = Yonhap News)