As governments move forward with plans to ease coronavirus restrictions, health officials around the globe are calling on the public to remain vigilant so that hard-won victories in the battle against the pandemic are not lost.

With South Koreans about to celebrate their longest holiday since infections there surged in February, authorities on Wednesday urged people to think twice about travelling and to continue to wear masks, not share food and stay home if they are feeling sick. Officials in Japan also asked people not to travel during that country’s upcoming Golden Week holiday.

“We must not let a moment of carelessness trigger mass transmissions that would make the efforts we invested so far vanish like bubbles of water,” South Korean Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said.

South Korea was the first country after China to see an explosion in virus cases, but like many other previous hot spots, it has seen the number of cases drop off. It reported just nine new cases on Wednesday, and hasn’t seen a daily jump above 100 since April 1, allowing the government to relax its social distancing guidelines and prepare to reopen schools.

 » READ MORE FROM GLOBAL NEWS