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(LEAD) 15 confirmed cases related to coronavirus patient who visited Itaewon clubs

All News 11:34 May 08, 2020

(ATTN: CHANGES dateline, headline, lead; ADDS new info in para 2)

SEOUL/YONGIN, South Korea, May 8 (Yonhap) -- Thirteen more cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed Friday, associated with a patient who visited clubs and bars in Seoul's popular multicultural neighborhood of Itaewon.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a briefing that 14 of the patients' contacts, including three foreign nationals and one army officer, have so far tested positive for COVID-19.

Early in the morning, a 31-year-old co-worker of the patient was confirmed to have the virus. The two work in the same IT company based in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. The man, a Yongin resident, has been admitted to a hospital in Anseong in the same province.

The patient, whom health authorities consider is a case of community transmission, traveled to parts of the country and visited five clubs and bars in Itaewon over the weekend.

A health expert, who asked not to be named, voiced concern that visitors to such clubs and bars might be reluctant to reveal their identities and come forward to get tested, possibly allowing the virus to quietly spread.

The city of Yongin said it identified 58 contacts of the man in its jurisdiction, including 44 co-workers. The man's company has been shut down to stem the spread of the virus.

People walk past a dance club in the popular international district of Itaewon in Seoul on May 7, 2020. The club was shut down, as a man in his 20s who tested positive for COVID-19 visited the place on May 1. Some 500 people were reportedly there at that time. (Yonhap)


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