Drones light up Seoul with messages of hope amid COVID-19

Drones light up Seoul with messages of hope amid COVID-19

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seoul
Drones fly in formation showing messages of hope amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seoul, South Korea November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SEOUL: More than 300 drones lit up the sky over Seoul on Friday (Nov 13) in a show the government said was meant to give "comfort and hope" to residents enduring the coronavirus pandemic.

The devices lined up in synchronised light displays, forming multi-coloured images of people wearing masks, and spelling out slogans promoting the government's "Korean New Deal" programme to rebuild the economy.

READ: South Korea reports 191 new COVID-19 cases, highest in 70 days 

"I hope this drone show serves as an opportunity to convey joy and hope for a moment to our people experiencing pandemic fatigue," Kim Sang-do, deputy minister for aviation policy, said in a statement.

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seoul
Drones fly in formation showing messages of hope amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seoul, South Korea November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seoul
Drones fly in formation showing messages of hope amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seoul, South Korea November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The show was designed to thank residents for their efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the statement said.

The first such show in July was held over the city's Han River without notice, as organisers wanted to prevent crowds from gathering.

This time, the event was announced in advance and held above the park built to host the 1988 Summer Olympics.

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seoul
People take pictures as drones fly in formation showing messages of hope, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Seoul, South Korea November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea's aggressive campaign to control the coronavirus outbreak has won international praise, helped the country avoid lockdowns and insulated its economy from some of the worst impacts of the crisis. 

But the country has continued to battle small and persistent clusters of infections, with 191 new coronavirus cases reported on Friday as daily infections creep higher.

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seoul
Drones fly in formation showing messages of hope amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seoul, South Korea November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

From Friday, officials started to impose fines of up to 100,000 won (US$90) for people who fail to properly wear masks in public transport and a wide range of venues, including hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, nightclubs, karaoke bars, religious and sports facilities and at gatherings of more than 500 people.

People will also be required to wear masks at restaurants and cafes when they are not eating or drinking.

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Source: Reuters/gs

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