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Recent virus outbreaks in S. Korea seeded most by GH strain: KCDC

National 15:59 July 06, 2020

SEOUL, July 6 (Yonhap) -- A series of cluster infections in the Seoul metropolitan area, including the one tied to a nightlife district in downtown Seoul, was seeded most by the so-called GH genetic strain of the new coronavirus, which has been also most detected in other countries, health authorities said Monday.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) sequenced genomes of a total of 526 COVID-19 patients, and the GH clade were detected in 333 cases.

Hundreds of virus cases were tied to the nightlife district of Itaewon in early May, and more than 100 cases traced to a logistics center just west of Seoul in mid-May.

The new coronavirus is classified into seven strains -- S, V, L, G, GH, GR and the rest -- in accordance with an amino acid, according to the GISAID database on the virus run by the World Health Organization.

South Korea has identified all but one clade -- L.

The second-most-common coronavirus clade in South Korea was clade V, with 127 cases falling into the genetic strain. The cases were tied to a religious sect in Daegu, once the epicenter of the country's virus outbreak in late February and early March.

According to the KCDC, 33 cases were grouped under clade S, most of which were imported cases, including arrivals from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the pandemic.

This photo, taken on July 6, 2020, shows drive-thru coronavirus testing in Gwangju, 329 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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