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S. Korea still vigilant over community spread; club cluster brought under control

All News 10:23 May 19, 2020

SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea added 13 more cases of the new coronavirus Tuesday, marking the fourth consecutive day that new infections stayed below 20, as the country saw a marked slowdown in nightclub-linked cluster infections connected to Itaewon, a nightlife district of Seoul.

The new COVID-19 cases detected Monday brought the total caseload to 11,078, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Of them, nine were local infections.

A quarantine official disinfects a classroom in a high school in the administrative city of Sejong on May 18, 2020. (Yonhap)

Itaewon emerged as a hotbed for cluster infections, with the number of cases tied to bars and clubs in the district reaching at least 170 as of Monday, according to the KCDC and the Seoul city government.

South Korea has successfully flattened the virus curve with massive testing and contact tracing, with its single-day infection falling to a single digit figure in the first week of May.

But the country saw a sharp rise in Itaewon-linked cases after a 29-year-old man tested positive on May 6 after visiting five clubs in the district in early May.

The country, meanwhile, added four more imported cases and no additional deaths, bringing the total death toll to 263.

The total number of people released from quarantine after full recoveries stood at 9,938, up 34 from the previous day.

As club-linked cases slowed, the country will reopen schools Wednesday starting from high school seniors as scheduled.

South Korea switched an "everyday life quarantine" scheme on May 6 to enable citizens to carry out social and economic activities under quarantine rules.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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