Suicides, traffic deaths decrease in S.Korea in 2020

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The numbers of suicides and traffic and crime-related deaths in South Korea fell in 2020 largely due to the various social distancing schemes imposed over concerns of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government said on Thursday.

According to the Interior Ministry, the combined number of deaths connected to traffic accidents, crimes and suicides stood at 16,439 in 2020, down from 17,350 a year earlier, reports Yonhap News Agency.

In terms of types, traffic deaths fell 15.9 percent to 2,858, and those connected to five major crimes, such as murder and robbery, dropped 5.4 per cent to 386.

Suicide cases also fell from 13,779 to 13,195, down 4.4 per cent on-year, according to the Ministry.

Officials attributed the decreases in traffic and crime deaths to the nationwide social distancing restrictions and business hour curfews that were imposed on bars and restaurants throughout the country during the pandemic.

They also credited the drop in suicides to the government’s Covid-19 related suicide prevention program.

Disease-related deaths, however, jumped 31.5 per cent due to an increase in cases connected to Covid, while fatalities due to fire accidents climbed 26.3 per cent due to a notable increase in large warehouse fire accidents.

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