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Over 50 infections reported from Busan's nursing hospital

All News 10:06 October 14, 2020

BUSAN, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- More than 50 patients and workers at a nursing hospital in Busan have been diagnosed with COVID-19, municipal authorities said Wednesday, in the southern port city's latest coronavirus cluster.

The authorities said 43 patients of the Busan nursing hospital, located in the city's Mandeok neighborhood, and its nine staff members tested positive for the new coronavirus. One of the infected patients has already died, they added.

The mass virus infections have come to light after an assistant nurse in her 50s was confirmed to be infected Tuesday, prompting the authorities to conduct the coronavirus tests for all 262 patients and staff.

This file photo taken Oct. 5, 2020, shows a public park in Busan's Mandeok neighborhood closed as part of anti-coronavirus quarantine measures. (Yonhap)

The hospital, named Haeddeurak, was immediately put under cohort isolation, they said.

The outbreak of mass coronavirus infections came days after the South Korean government relaxed its social distancing measures from Level 2 to Level 1. Busan, South Korea's second-largest city with a population of 3.4 million, has so far reported 486 coronavirus cases and four deaths from the disease.

The authorities said the Haeddeurak Nursing Hospital is the largest cluster infection ever witnessed by Busan.

They are now carrying out an epidemiological survey to determine how and where the assistant nurse contracted the virus.

They also fear that more infections could be identified from among other hospital patients, mostly aged people.

In recent weeks, a dozen coronavirus cases have been reported from many locations of the Maedeok neighborhood, including restaurants, bath houses and swimming pools, prompting the municipal government to close 18 public parks in the district on Oct. 1 and advise all commercial establishments to thoroughly follow quarantine guidelines.


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