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Itaewon cluster continues to grow, now at 237

All Headlines 14:29 May 25, 2020

SEOUL, May 25 (Yonhap) -- Infections linked to nightspots in the neighborhood of Itaewon have totaled 237, officials said Monday, with community transmission linked to the cluster showing no signs of slowing.

The figure tallied at noon added 12 cases from a day ago, according to health authorities. The Seoul city government separately said it has identified 112 cases related to the Itaewon case as of 10 a.m.

The case, linked to nightclubs and bars in the central Seoul ward of Yongsan, is so far the biggest single infection cluster reported in South Korea's capital.

The latest figure stokes concerns over further transmission linked to the case, with infections having occurred in venues such as coin-operated karaoke rooms, a buffet restaurant and internet cafes.

Health workers conduct a virus screening test at a community health center in Bucheon, just outside of Seoul, on May 18, 2020. (Yonhap)

One recent case identified in Seoul involved six stages of transmission traced to a 25-year-old patient in Incheon, who lied about visiting Itaewon and had taught students at a cram school and private tutoring lessons.

Yoon Tae-ho, a senior government official, said in a press briefing that the "risks of the Itaewon-linked case are growing due to chain transmission."

Yoon, however, said the recent cases are seen as under control amid the government's eased social distancing campaign and current quarantine system.

The government has so far conducted 82,000 tests in relation to the Itaewon case.

mlee@yna.co.kr
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