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(LEAD) Nat'l Assembly's main buildings partly closed again after journalist tests positive for COVID-19

All News 15:33 September 07, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- The National Assembly's main buildings were partly closed again Monday after a journalist covering parliament tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Upon the report of the COVID-19 case, three floors of the central National Assembly hall, as well as part of the two other buildings that host lawmakers and journalists, respectively, were vacated and sealed off for disinfection.

The assembly's COVID-19 response team said the spaces will remain closed until future notice.

The decision again put the buildings partly off limits after they reopened last Saturday after a two-day closure over a COVID-19 case involving a parliament staff member.

The journalist initially tested negative after coming in contact with another photojournalist posted at the chamber who tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 26.

After falling ill, the journalist was tested for the second time and the result came back positive, according to parliament sources.

A number of parliamentary subcommittee sessions planned for Monday will be held as scheduled but in different places due to the closure, officials said.

This file photo provided by the National Assembly shows transparent plastic dividers installed between seats at the plenary meeting hall on Aug. 30, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Having hosted a party event last Tuesday, which was covered by the journalist in person, Rep. Han Jeoung-ae, the policy committee chief of the ruling Democratic Party, was tested for the virus and is waiting for the result set for Monday evening at her home.

Several ruling party officials, including the party chief Rep. Lee Nak-yon, also suspended their public activities and returned home to wait for Han's test result, as they had come in contact with the policy committee chief.


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