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32 Russian sailors test positive for virus, total cases swell to 78

National 10:07 July 24, 2020

BUSAN, July 24 (Yonhap) -- At least 32 sailors on a Russia-flagged fishing vessel docked in the southeastern city of Busan tested positive for the new coronavirus in another cluster infection on a foreign vessel, health officials said Friday.

Of 94 crewmembers aboard the 7,733-ton ship that entered a Busan port early this month, 62 sailors tested negative for COVID-19, according to quarantine authorities.

A South Korean worker who tested positive for the virus on Thursday appears to have contracted the virus from the infected Russian sailors, when the person boarded the vessel to handle repair-related jobs.

Authorities carried out on-board quarantine checks of the ship, but there were reportedly no sailors showing virus symptoms.

With the newly identified cases, South Korea has detected 78 virus cases from eight Russian ships docked here since last month, spawning concerns about foreign ships-tied cluster infections.

Health authorities are monitoring at least 20 people who have contacted the infected Korean worker.

Since late June, South Korea has been conducting on-board quarantine checks of foreign ships arriving from high-risk countries, after assessing the degree of risk.

A Russia-flagged ship which reported 32 virus cases is docked at a port in South Korea's southern city of Busan on July 23, 2020, in this contributed photo. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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