Asia Today: S Korean students return to class; 32 new cases

South Korea relaxed much of its social distancing rules in early May, but then saw a spike in new infections linked to nightclubs in Seoul. Authorities believe the outbreak may have begun among a group of family members and friends who gathered for dining and drinking without maintaining social distancing. Officials say businesses that do not pose a high risk of transmission can reopen June 2 but some retail shops, personal services and dining at restaurants will remain shut. Schools will reopen in phases and families canvisit each other, but limited to one visit a day and not more than two guests in a household. If the transmission remains low andstable, andtheinfections among foreign workers under control, more activities will gradually resume including gyms, tuition centers and retail outlets. The return of a huge number of workers has raised fears that many of them could carry infections back home. In an address Wednesday on her inauguration to a second term, Tsai said such changes present bothchallenges and opportunities, particularly for Taiwan, which has received praise for its handling of the outbreak even while being excluded from the World Health Organization attheinsistence of China. With virus threats still looming, “only those who can end the pandemic withintheirborders,lay out a strategy for their country’s survival and development, and take advantage of opportunities in the complex world of tomorrow, will be able to set themselvesapartontheinternational stage,” Tsai said. As an aging society, Taiwan needs to bolster disease prevention and treatment capabilities and link industries to make more breakthroughsinvaccineandnewdrug development, she said.