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(2nd LD) Virus-hit apartment complex under isolation, most cases linked to religious sect

All News 12:40 March 07, 2020

(ATTN: REPLACES photo with images of apartment complex; UPDATES figures throughout)

DAEGU, March 7 (Yonhap) -- A virus-hit apartment tower here has been under tight control as a third of its residents were infected with the new coronavirus, city officials said Saturday.

According to the city's health authorities, 46 out 142 residents at the apartment block were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19. The city put the residential complex under group isolation.

The city authorities said 94 of the residents were members of the Shincheonji church, which is largely responsible for the virus outbreak here.

The religious sect has been associated with around 60 percent of all confirmed cases in the country.

Among the patients who have been infected, 14 have been hospitalized, while the remaining 32 were waiting to be transported to hospitals.

This photo taken on March 7, 2020, shows an apartment complex in Daegu that has been under isolation after group transmissions of the new coronavirus broke out among its residents. (Yonhap)

South Korea has so far reported 6,767 cases, with more than 5,000 infections reported in Daegu and nearby North Gyeongsang Province, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The apartment block, which consists of two five-story buildings, is run by the city for unmarried working women who are under 35 years old. A total of 142 people live in 100 flats.

Cohort isolation is a way to contain the virus by putting patients and medical personnel under a group quarantine.

Following a mass infection at a hospital ward in Cheongdo County in North Gyeongsang Province near Daegu, province officials recently carried out cohort isolation at 581 welfare facilities as part of precautionary measures.

The city government said it has sent text messages to residents notifying them of a full entry and exit ban, which applies to all residents and delivery workers.

This photo taken on March 7, 2020, shows a notice in front of an apartment complex in Daegu that has been under isolation after group transmissions of the new coronavirus broke out among its residents. (Yonhap)


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