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S. Korea on alert against sporadic coronavirus outbreaks

All News 11:04 March 04, 2020

SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean health authorities said Wednesday that they are closely monitoring sporadic cases of the novel coronavirus outside of the country's southeastern city of Daegu.

South Korea reported 516 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the nation's total number of infections to 5,329, with 90 percent clustered in Daegu, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

A number of cases across the country have been traced to people attending enclosed areas like gyms or churches.

A bus stand at a train station is almost deserted in the southeastern city of Daegu on March 4, 2020, as people avoid going out amid the spread of the new coronavirus. (Yonhap)

"We are closely monitoring the possibility of more sporadic confirmed cases in the community in parts of the country outside of Daegu," KCDC Deputy Director Kwon Jun-wook told reporters.

Seoul has witnessed the most small clusters of infections resulting from so-called community transmissions.

A 50-year-old man with no record of recent overseas trips and no previous contact with COVID-19 patients was the first confirmed case at an apartment building in Seongdong district in western Seoul.

The patient, working as a superintendent, infected 11 others, including members of his family and tenants at his building.

In the central cities of Cheonan and Asan, 48 of the 79 COVID-19 patients were linked to a Zumba dance class after an instructor became the region's first confirmed case.

The provincial government of South Chungcheong Province conducted tests on everyone who attended the class in Cheonan, with most of the confirmed cases being women in their 30's and 40's.

The city of Suwon, south of Seoul, has also witnessed a small cluster of community infections after a COVID-19 patient attended a church service there.

khj@yna.co.kr
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