SEOUL (Reuters) – More than 300 drones lit up the sky over Seoul on Friday 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.
“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 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.
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.
As of Friday South Korea will begin fining people who fail to wear masks in public.
(Reporting by Josh Smith; Editing by Andrew Heavens)