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The government took the unprecedented step on Friday of restricting eateries in the capital area, as a multitude of outbreaks continued to erupt from churches, offices, nursing homes and medical facilities, even after social-distancing rules were tightened.
For a week starting on Sunday, onsite dining at restaurants, pubs and bakeries in the Seoul area will be banned after 9 p.m., while coffee shops, some of which have been identified as hotspots, are restricted to takeout and delivery.
Churches, nightclubs, gyms and most schools in the area are already closed, and masks are mandatory in public places.
Health authorities have expressed concern, especially as almost 16,000 intern and resident doctors have been on strike since Aug. 21, primarily over the government’s plans to boost the number of doctors to better deal with health crises like the coronavirus.
The Health Ministry filed a police complaint against at least 10 doctors and extended a back-to-work order for the doctors, who are the backbone of healthcare services in emergency rooms and intensive care units.
The striking doctors have volunteered at temporary testing centers to help with the outbreak, and major hospitals have reported delays and disruptions since their walkout. (Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by William Mallard)