Infection clusters show signs of spilling over into other regions

18-Jun-2020 Intellasia | KoreaTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Another mass COVID-19 infection reported in Daejeon is putting the health authorities on high alert as it marks the first time the country has seen an infection cluster outside the capital region since May.

According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), Wednesday, at least 13 people living in the southern city have been confirmed infected with the coronavirus over the past three days.

This is raising concerns over the possible spread of sporadic infection clusters that have continued to emerge in the densely populated capital, the nearby city of Incheon and the surrounding Gyeonggi Province, to other parts of the country.

Among the 13 patients reported in Daejeon, 10 were linked to a multi-level marketing company, while three were traced to a local church.

The authorities are staying vigilant over the possibility of additional patients emerging as many people are known to have gathered at multi-level marketing companies and churches.

“We have dispatched an epidemiological investigation team to Daejeon, and are making efforts to contain any further community spread there,” vice Health and Welfare minister Kim Kang-lip said during a media briefing.

On a national scale, the KCDC said 43 new infections ? 31 local and 12 imported ? were detected Tuesday, which raised the nation’s total to 12,198.

One more death was reported, raising the death toll to 279.

The nation’s new virus cases rebounded to over 40, marking a rise from the 34 additional cases reported the previous day, amid continuous infection clusters in the capital region and an increase in imported cases, in addition to the community infections outside Seoul.

According to the KCDC, 176 patients have been traced to Richway, a Seoul-based multi-level marketing company selling health food supplements, as of noon Wednesday. Among the 176, 41 visited the company, while 135 came into contact with them.

An infection cluster that broke out at the company has spread to at least eight other groups, including a Protestant church attended by Chinese immigrants and a call centre operated by an investment company in the capital.

A care centre in Seoul’s Dobong-gu has been emerged as a new hotbed for the spread of the contagious disease, with the number of cases linked to the centre reaching 34 as of noon Wednesday.

An increase in the number of patients over 60 years old is adding to the woes as senior citizens are known to be more vulnerable to the disease.

In addition, there has been a steady increase in the number of imported cases, the authorities said, noting that a total of 112 patients were categorised as such this month.


Category: Korea

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