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Itaewon-linked infections in Seoul hit 72, gripping capital area

All News 11:39 May 14, 2020

SEOUL, May 14 (Yonhap) -- Infections in Seoul coming from nightspots in the neighborhood of Itaewon reached 72 on Thursday, raising fears over what health authorities called "a truly cruel virus" further spreading in the greater Seoul area.

The cases traced to Itaewon, a vibrant area known for its nightlife and international community, form the second-largest cluster infection in the capital, following 98 cases linked to a call center in the southwestern area of Sindorim.

The latest data come amid heightened concerns that the capital area may face another wave of transmissions of COVID-19.

A health worker checks a man who went to a church that an Itaewon-related patient visited, in an outdoor screening center at Michuhol Ward Office in Incheon, west of Seoul, on May 14, 2020. (Yonhap)

Infections have been confirmed far and wide across the country followed by reports of secondary and potentially tertiary infections.

Among them was a 25-year-old Itaewon clubber based in Incheon, west of Seoul, who has infected 14 people, including teenagers he taught in private tutoring sessions and cram schools.

The incident has developed into a case involving the monitoring of 1,473 people in the port city, including people they went into contact with as well as other students at the cram school and churches patients attended.

Authorities have urged people who visited Itaewon to come forward and get tested in a responsible manner before the virus further spreads in local communities.

In a press briefing Wednesday, KCDC chief Jeong Eun-kyeong called the COVID-19 "a truly cruel virus" that "when infected can hurt the people who are most close to oneself."

Daily new infections in the country came in at 29, bringing the country's total infections to 10,991 on Thursday, according to the KCDC.

Of the total, 22 were reported in the greater Seoul area, including Gyeonggi Province and Incheon.


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