Due to rise in coronavirus cases, Seoul switches to online classes
PIC: AFP

South Korea is closing schools and switching back to remote learning in the greater capital area as the country counted its 12th straight day of triple-digit daily increases in coronavirus cases.

Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae said Tuesday that at least 193 students and teachers were found infected over the past two weeks in the Seoul metropolitan region, where a viral surge has threatened to erase the country's hard-won epidemiological gains.

South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 280 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, pushing the 12-day total to 3,175.

The country's caseload is now at 17,945, including 310 deaths.

Yoo said most children at kindergartens, elementary, middle- and high-schools will receive online classes at least until Sept 11. However, high-school seniors will continue to go to school to prevent possible disruptions to their studies ahead of the crucial national college exams.

The KCDC said 221 of the new cases came from the greater Seoul area, home to half of the country's 51 million people, where churches emerged as major sources of infections before authorities shut them amid tightened social distancing restrictions.

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