Go to Contents Go to Navigation

(4th LD) Virus-hit apartment complex under lockdown, all cases linked to religious sect

All News 17:46 March 07, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline; ADDS details in paras 4-6)

DAEGU, March 7 (Yonhap) -- A virus-hit apartment tower here has been placed under lockdown as a third of its residents were infected with the new coronavirus, with all the cases traced to a religious sect related to most infections here, city officials said Saturday.

The mass infection case is the latest in a series of cluster outbreaks at hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare-related facilities in South Korea, which account for over 70 percent of total infections here.

According to the city's health authorities, 46 out 142 residents at the apartment block were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19. It is the first case of a South Korean residential complex being put under lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The city authorities said 94 of the residents were members of the Shincheonji church, including all 46 who were diagnosed with the contagious disease.

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)

More than 63 percent of all confirmed cases in the country traced to the Shincheonji church, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

"A lot of the residents at the apartment were found to be relatively young Shincheonji followers. (The apartment) has been put under isolation on the possibility that additional cases may occur," KCDC Deputy Director Kwon Jun-wook said.

South Korea has so far reported 7,041 cases of the new coronavirus, with more than 6,000 infections occurring in Daegu and nearby North Gyeongsang Province, the two epicenters of virus outbreak here.

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.

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.

Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin also said the city has identified 10 places that are suspected as group residences for Shincheonji followers, adding the city plans to look into the venues and take appropriate measures.

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)


(END)

Keywords
HOME TOP
Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!