S. Korea sees surge in new cases of COVID-19, infections at one of nation's largest hospitals


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코로나19 다시 30명대…병원-클럽발 지속감염에 재확산

The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 that had been in the lower teens for days has surged to more than 30 today on back of new clusters - one linked to one of Seoul's major hospitals.
Adding concern, more community-based transmissions near the capital Seoul which experts say could become a second cluster infection just like Itaewon.
Our Choi Jeong-yoon starts us off tonight.
The number of COVID-19 cases in South Korea, which had remained in their teens for four consecutive days, has soared to over 30 on Wednesday.
24 out of the 32 new cases are local transmissions...eight of which are linked to the Itaewon nightclubs cluster infection.
Authorities are on high alert due to further possible cluster transmissions stemming from one of the nation's largest hospitals. As of Wednesday, four nurses from the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul have contracted the virus. Not included in the KCDC’s daily statistics...a nurse from Chungcheongnam-do Province, who is a friend of the first infected nurse, tested positive earlier in the day.
"Samsung Medical Center has temporarily closed 25 operating rooms where the four nurses worked,... and some 60 scheduled surgeries have been postponed.”
Over 12-hundred people who came into contact with the nurses have been tested. Among them, 124 people who came into close contact with medical staff are under strict self-quarantine. So far, 641 people have tested negative while others are still waiting for their results.
Contact tracing is ongoing with the route of the infections still unknown.
"One possible route is an infection from outside the hospital that spread through public spaces like rest areas or in the locker room that nurses use. Another is via operating rooms...where a patient who underwent surgery contracted the virus."
Another cluster transmission at a bar in Gyeonggi-do Province has seen 6 more people infected. A 26-year-old male working at a hospital in Yongin had come into close contact with a patient from the Itaewon clubs outbreak...then visited a Japanese-style pub. Health authorities say that, because the bar is small and enclosed, the possibility of being infected via droplets is high...which could lead to further community-based transmissions.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.

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