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S. Korea adds 13 new virus cases; club-linked cases flatten

All News 10:24 May 17, 2020

SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea added 13 new cases of the new coronavirus on Sunday with nightclub-linked infections showing signs of a slowdown over the weekend, health authorities said Sunday.

The new cases, detected Saturday, brought the country's total to 11,050, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

South Korea was at the critical juncture of whether domestic spread of the virus would continue or not after another cluster infection, in a nightlife area of Seoul, emerged early this month.

A street in the popular nightlife district of Itaewon in Seoul is nearly empty on May 16, 2020, amid the growing concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus. (Yonhap)

Around 5,500 people were estimated to have visited affected clubs in Itaewon between April 24 and May 6. With more than a thousand people still being out of contact, health authorities are remaining vigilant over another possible boom in local infections.

South Korea reported no new deaths, keeping the death toll at 262.

The total number of people released from quarantine after full recoveries stood at 9,888, up 37 from the previous day.

Imported cases, which used to be the biggest threat for South Korea's quarantine operations before the clubbers' group infections came up to the surface, rose by seven to reach 1,167.

Despite the infections from Itaewon, South Korea has made no major changes to the relaxed social distancing scheme.

Amid growing concerns over an irrevocable impact on the economy, South Korea gave the go-ahead to the normalization of public facilities and other business establishments under the condition that they follow basic sanitation measures. Clubs and karaoke rooms are excluded in some areas.

High school seniors will return to classrooms starting Wednesday, a week later than earlier scheduled, and students of other grades will gradually resume their school years by June 8.

colin@yna.co.kr
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