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S. Korea to provide open data on 'virus-safe' restaurants


South Korea said Tuesday it will release data on restaurants that follow sanitary guidelines meant to avoid the spread of the new coronavirus to induce people to dine out more without being excessively concerned about safety.

"The data on the safe restaurants will speed up the efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19," the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement. "We plan to build more open data that can lend a hand to the country's anti-virus fight."

The country has been building up a database of restaurants that strictly follow sanitary and distancing guidelines to cope with the new coronavirus pandemic. So far, 2,309 establishments are on the list.

Sharing a dish provided simultaneously for a group has been common practice in Korean culture, but the virus pandemic has made South Koreans opt for separate dishes.

The data will be updated every week.

South Korea's top mobile carrier SK Telecom Co. plans to reflect the data on its mobile map application to help users find nearby shops that follow anti-virus guidelines starting Wednesday.

The country's new coronavirus infections reached 14,423 as of Tuesday, with the number of imported cases especially rising sharply recently as more South Korean workers returned home, along with cluster infections from overseas sailors.

Locally transmitted cases nevertheless showed a clear sign of a slowdown. South Korea added just 13 cases on the day. (Yonhap)