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Virus-infected hospital staff stoke concerns over further transmission to patients

All News 10:56 February 21, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Yonhap) -- Some nurses at a hospital here have contracted the new coronavirus, fueling fears that more virus cases will be identified, public health officials said Friday.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), and public health authorities in North Gyeongsang Province said Thursday that five nurses at the psychiatric ward at Daenam Hospital in Cheongdo, 320 kilometers southeast of Seoul, have all tested positive for COVID-19.

The country's first death from the virus was reported at the same hospital.

Virus-infected hospital staff stoke concerns over further transmission to patients - 1

The country's health authorities said a total of 16 people have tested positive for the virus out of 600 patients and medical staff at the hospital.

As of Friday morning, the country has reported 156 cases of COVID-19. In just three days, the number of virus infections almost tripled, most of which -- 82 cases -- have been traced to church services in Daegu, home to 2.5 million people.

The first infection was confirmed here on Jan. 20.

Transmissions taking places in hospitals and clinics are of grave concern because of the risk of exposing sick people, who are more vulnerable to infections, to the virus.

The KCDC said that it is in the process of checking everyone as quickly as possible and plans to move people who have tested negative to other medical facilities.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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