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S. Korea to expand counseling services for public, U.S. enters 'new phase' in pandemic Updated: 2020-08-03 17:06:57 KST

The South Korean government will expand its counseling services to help a wider range of people who have experienced psychological stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Public Administration and Security on Monday said that it has revised its standards of who is eligible for the government-funded counseling.
Currently, only people who've witnessed disastrous situations, have been forced to evacuate their homes, and those who participated in relief or restoration activities were entitled for support.
But with the changes, citizens who are deemed to be in need of therapy will be eligible from Tuesday, such as those who have been in self quarantine or subjected to high levels of stress due to the pandemic.
The move came as the government acknowledged the need to help restore mental health among the public with the pandemic continuing to rumble on beyond the six-month mark.
South Korea reported 23 more cases of COVID-19 on Monday.
The majority of which were imported, with only three local infections - the fewest since May.
Meanwhile, the situation in the United States seems to be worsening.
White House COVID-19 task force coordinator, Deborah Birx, said Sunday local time that the U.S. has entered a, quote, "new phase" of the pandemic, adding that outbreaks are increasing in both rural and urban areas.
Expressing concern over what she called an "extraordinary wide spread", Birx asked the public to wear masks indoors when coming into contact the elderly or those with underlying health conditions.
Such comments came as U.S. health experts projected the death toll to surpass three-hundred-thousand by the end of the year.
According to Worldometer, the U.S. has seen a total of at least four.eight-million COVID-19 cases, with more than one-hundred-58 thousand deaths as of Sunday.

Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.
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