Some 35,000 people have been tested in connection with the recently detected coronavirus outbreak in clubs in Seoul, which has caused more than 130 infections, sparking fears of a resurgence in cases in South Korea.
During a press briefing on Thursday, Yoon Tae-ho, a senior Health Ministry official said that a total of 35,000 tests have been conducted in connection with Itaewon clubs.
Yoon also said that of the 29 new cases detected on Wednesday in South Korea, 26 correspond to community infections and, of those, 20 were linked to the outbreak believed to have originated in Seoul’s Itaewon neighbourhood, known for its many bars and nightclubs, according to the reports.
In total, the outbreak has so far led to a total of 131 infections, some of them at the secondary and tertiary levels.
On Saturday, President Moon Jae-in urged the public to remain vigilant as the capital has ordered the closure of all clubs and bars after a burst of new cases sparked fears of a second coronavirus wave.
With around 7,200 people estimated to have visited the five establishments, health authorities have warned of a further spike in infections and have asked those who went to any of the venues to get tested.
At least 1,138 infections have been linked to international arrivals, but such cases have declined after the country strengthened border controls in April, enforcing two-week quarantines on all passengers coming from abroad.
On Sunday, President Moon the new cluster had “raised awareness that even during the stabilisation phase, similar situations can arise again anytime”.
South Korea, one of the countries that has so far managed to control the coronavirus situation well without resorting to lockdowns, went several days without detection of local transmissions of the COVID-19 virus last week before this new outbreak was detected.
The Asian country has so far recorded a total of 10,991 cases and 260 dead, with a fatality rate of 2.37 perecnt.
Meanwhile, there are around 43,97,000 coronavirus confirmed cases in the world at the time of filing this report. Over 2,95,870 people have died due to the virus that was first reported in December 2019 in China, according to the Worldometers website.