Quarantine officials introduce procedures for Covid-19 tests to entrants from China upon their arrival at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea, 02 January 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT

South Korea to downgrade Covid-19 infection level to same as seasonal flu from Aug. 31

Seoul, Aug 23 (EFE).- South Korea will downgrade the infection level of Covid-19 to that of seasonal flu from Aug. 31, thereby removing all restrictions and returning to pre-pandemic normalcy.

South Korean health authorities announced the decision on Wednesday after the number of infections decreased for the first time in two months last week.

“The spread of Covid-19, which started in the fourth week of June, has recently slowed down and turned into a decline, and the overall quarantine situation has been stabilized,” Jee Young-mee, commissioner of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, said in a government meeting, local news agency Yonhap reported.

“It’s time to shift our focus from counting daily cases to protecting high-risk populations. The government will change the C-19 infection level from Class 2 to Class 4 and manage it within the general health care system,” she added.

Class four diseases, such as flu, are those with the lowest infection level, while class two diseases, include tuberculosis, measles and cholera, and require isolation.

With this move, South Korea follows in the footsteps of its neighbor Japan, which downgraded Covid-19 to the seasonal flu in May and eased measures imposed to contain the disease. EFE