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(LEAD) Four nurses at major hospital in Seoul infected with COVID-19

All News 11:50 May 19, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES details in first five paras)

SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- Four nurses working at Samsung Medical Center, one of the country's biggest general hospitals, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Seoul Mayor said Tuesday.

In a press briefing, Mayor Park Won-soon said 265 of 277 people, including health workers and patients, who were in contact with the infected nurses, are being checked for the virus, adding that parts of the hospital have been temporarily closed down.

Park said a taskforce of 18 officers are looking into the case, the first time in which medical workers at a major general have been infected. Authorities have yet to identify the infection route.

This Yonhap file photo shows Seoul Medical Center in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The new group infection began when a nurse working at the hospital's cardiothoracic operating rooms tested positive on Monday. Three other nurses later were confirmed to be infected.

The first nurse did not report for work during the weekend and showed symptoms of a fever Sunday night, according to the health authorities.

The hospital said the nurse had not visited Seoul's popular nightlife district of Itaewon, which has recently become an infection cluster.

The country added 13 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the total caseload to 11,078. Of the number, nine were local infections.

khj@yna.co.kr
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