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S. Korea to run system to better detect virus patients' routes

All News 09:46 March 11, 2020

SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will operate a system to support epidemiological investigation of people infected with the novel coronavirus by utilizing various cutting-edge technology, government officials said Wednesday.

The system is aimed at helping health investigators to swiftly check various data such as surveillance camera footage and credit card transactions of confirmed COVID-19 patients to recreate their routes.

The system -- co-developed by the Ministry of Science and ICT; the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport; and the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) -- will kick off on Monday.

People flock to a makeshift clinic set up in front of a building in Guro, western Seoul, on March 10, 2020, to check whether they have come down with the new coronavirus as 22 of 207 workers at a call center in the building were found to have been infected with the virus. (Yonhap)

The system is based on the so-called smart-city data hub program currently under development by the central government and the municipal government of Daegu, the local epicenter of the outbreak.

Previously, KCDC investigators had to request important data such as CCTV footage and credit card transactions of confirmed patients from police investigators, resulting in a delay in epidemiological investigation.

The new system allows various data of the confirmed COVID-19 patients to be immediately analyzed and provided to health investigators.

As of Tuesday, the nation's total COVID-19 cases came to 7,513, with 60 people, mostly elderly patients with underlying illnesses, having died of the potentially fatal disease, according to the KCDC.

khj@yna.co.kr
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