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S. Korea to rev up quarantine on nursing hospitals, churches to stem cluster infections

All News 15:03 April 08, 2020

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's health authorities said Wednesday they will step up quarantine on facilities that pose higher risk of cluster transmissions of the novel coronavirus, such as nursing hospitals and churches.

Under the measure, nursing hospitals, closed wards of mental institutions, sanatoriums and churches will be designated as a "high-risk group" of being infected with COVID-19 and will be subject to intensive monitoring.

"There are more seniors or people with underlying diseases at facilities, such as nursing hospitals and psychopathic wards, meaning that those who are infected with the new coronavirus at the such facilities will have a low chance of recovery," said the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) in a press release.

This photo shows Miju Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in the virus-hit Daegu, 302 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on March 27, 2020. A total of 186 patients and caregivers there have been confirmed with COVID-19. (Yonhap)

The country's new COVID-19 cases hovered around 50 for the third straight day Wednesday, bringing the nation's total number of infections to 10,384, the KCDC said.

Health authorities, however, renewed calls for people to maintain social distancing to curb the spread of the virus, as cluster infections at churches and hospitals, still keep rising steadily.

For instance, a total of 186 patients and staff members at Miju Hospital in the southeastern city of Daegu, the epicenter of the virus outbreak here, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, marking the largest cluster of infections so far in the city.

Seoul and the surrounding Gyeonggi Province also continued to witness a growing number of cluster infections.

khj@yna.co.kr
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