Bundang Jesaeng General Hospital shuts ER, outpatient facilities
Seongnam City Government said Friday that three patients, two nurses and three nursing assistants of the hospital tested positive for the coronavirus.
The hospital shut down its outpatient emergency room as of 12:30 a.m.
It is the first time that a mass infection at a hospital was confirmed in Gyeonggi and the second case of mass infection at a single location in the province.
Last month, six infections were confirmed among the Saengmyeongsam Church of Suwon.
The hospital said it suspects that the mass infection started when a 77-year-old cancer patient was admitted to the hospital through an emergency room on Sunday.
She later displayed symptoms of pneumonia and tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday.
After the diagnosis, the hospital tested the people who had contact with the patient and confirmed that seven others were infected.
One of the seven infected people is a 76-year-old man who visited the hospital on Tuesday with symptoms of pneumonia.
His four family members, however, tested negative.
On Thursday, Seongnam City Government took samples from 171 medical workers and patients of the hospital as part of an epidemiological survey related to the man.
The test results showed that seven others were infected including the 77-year-old female cancer patient.
The hospital said the eight infected medical workers and patients mainly stayed on the eight floor of the hospital, where respiratory disease patients are admitted for treatment.
“Although the 76-year-old man tested positive first, his family members tested negative, while patients and nurses whose movements inside the hospital overlapped with the 77-year-old woman were mainly infected, so we believe she was the initial patient in the hospital,” said a hospital official.
“We are also conducting an epidemiological survey on how she got infected.”
“We ask residents to avoid the use of multi-purpose facilities to prevent infections from spreading,” Gyeonggi Governor Lee Jae-myung said Friday.
The city government established a monitoring room inside the hospital and disinfected the facility.
Surveys are ongoing to check on the people who had contact with the confirmed patients.
All three infected patients are residents of Gyeonggi. Of the five nurses and nursing aides who were infected, three are residents of Seongnam, while one lives in Icheon, Gyeonggi. Another one lives in Songpa District of Seoul.
The general hospital has 1,400 employees including 150 doctors in 26 departments. It has 576 wards.
On Feb. 27, the hospital was designated as a “public relief hospital” where treatments for respiratory disease patients are offered in separate facilities.
BY SER MYO-JA [firstname.lastname@example.org]