COVID-19 outbreaks have hit Seoul. To contain the spread of the virus, South Korean officials have introduced a creative but unusual new measure that restricts gyms to playing only slow music. the guard. The banned playlist features some top K-pop hits, including Gangnam Style, per NBC News.
- On Sunday, South Korea registered 1,100 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily number since the start of the pandemic, reported CNN. Most of these came from the greater Seoul area.
- On Monday, Seoul passed on Level 4 restrictions, the highest level of lockdown, the Deseret News reported.
Here’s a closer look at Seoul’s COVID-19 prevention measures that have sparked public ridicule and protest.
What are Seoul’s new COVID-19 restrictions in gyms?
Seoul has banned fast workout music from the gym. Any song above 120 beats per minute is not allowed, per NBC News. so at 108 beats per minute, Eye of the Tiger may remain in the playlist, but South Korea’s own hit Gangnam Style on 132 beats per minute is not allowed.
- Gyms are also required to close their indoor showers, per USA today.
- Treadmills cannot go faster than 3.7 miles per hour or the equivalent of a 16 minute mile, CNN reported.
- Table tennis is limited to two people per table, per the guard.
Why do gyms have to play slow music?
Health officials said they considered a wide range of opinions before deciding on the current restrictions, according to The Guardian.
- When you run faster, you spit out more respiratory drops, so that’s why we try to limit heavy cardio exercise, Son Young-rae, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, said per NBC News.
How have people responded to these limitations?
The new restrictions have sparked confusion and controversy among gym owners and politicians alike.
So you don’t get COVID-19 if you walk slower than 6 km/h? Kim Yong-tae, a member of the main opposition party criticized, via the guard.
- And who the hell controls the bpm of the songs when you’re working out? I don’t understand what COVID-19 has to do with my choice of music, Kim said.
Playing bright songs is to cheer up our members and the overall mood, said Kang Hyun-kuo, a gym owner in northern Seoul, per CNN.
- But my biggest question is whether playing classical music or BTS songs has had any impact on the spread of the virus, he said.
- Many people use their own earphones and wearable devices these days, and how do you manage their playlists? Kang asked.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said via the guard, I am very sorry to have to ask the citizens again for a little more patience.
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