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(LEAD) Itaewon club cases emerge as Seoul's 2nd biggest cluster infection

All Headlines 11:48 May 12, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details in paras 3-4, 9-11)

SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) -- Infections connected to bars and clubs in Seoul's multicultural district of Itaewon emerged as the second biggest cluster infection reported in the country's capital on Tuesday.

Infections in Seoul linked to the case totaled 64, compared with 98 cases reported in relation to a call center in the city's southwestern ward of Guro in March, according to the Seoul metropolitan government.

South Korea, meanwhile, added 27 more cases, bringing total infections to 10,936, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Cases linked to Itaewon totaled 93, it said.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, however, said when adding figures that were tallied after midnight, infections tracing to Itaewon have reached 101 nationally.

Of the total, 23 were in surrounding Gyeonggi Province, seven in Incheon, west of Seoul, five in North Chungcheong Province, one in the southeastern port city of Busan and one in the southern island of Jeju.

Health workers are seen disinfecting streets in Itaewon located in the central Seoul ward of Yongsan on May 11, 2020. (Yonhap)

Health authorities have been on alert after the unexpected cluster broke out in the country's capital after the country had shifted to an everyday life quarantine mode following a fall in local infections.

The case first emerged after a 29-year-old tested positive after visiting five clubs and bars in Itaewon on May 1-2.

Health authorities have urged people who visited the area in late April and early May to voluntarily get checked for the virus.

But identifying all possible cases has proven to be a tough task as entry logs at the clubs turned out to carry false information in many cases.

Park said the city has secured a list of 10,905 visitors in the area through data provided by mobile operators and has sent text messages urging them to go through virus screening.

The city also secured a list of 494 people through credit card transactions in the affected period, he said.

mlee@yna.co.kr
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