China and South Korea both reported more coronavirus infections Friday after reopening economies damaged by devastating outbreaks. Around the globe, governments are opting to accept the risks of easing pandemic-fighting restrictions that left huge numbers of people without income or safety nets, the AP reports. South Korea's 13 fresh cases reported Friday were its first increase higher than 10 in five days. A dozen were linked to a 29-year-old who visited three nightclubs in Seoul last weekend. "A drop of ink in clear water spreads swiftly," Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said, urging vigilance to guard hard-won gains. "Anyone can become that drop of ink that spreads COVID-19."
After its caseload waned from hundreds a day to a handful daily in recent weeks, South Korea has relaxed social distancing guidelines, scheduled school reopenings, and allowed professional sports to resume without fans in the stands. In China, authorities reported 17 new virus cases on Friday, including 16 that tested positive but were not showing symptoms. No new deaths have been reported for more than three weeks, and just 260 people remain hospitalized to be treated for COVID-19. Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 3.8 million people and killed over 269,000, including more than 75,000 in the US, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University based on official data.
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