Seoul on high alert for possible cluster infection in ItaewonAt least 13 more cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed Friday, associated with a patient who visited clubs and bars in Seoul's popular multicultural neighborhood of Itaewon over the past weekend.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a briefing Friday that 14 of the patient's contacts, including three foreign nationals and one Korean-national Army officer, have so far tested positive for Covid-19.
The patient, whom health authorities consider a case of community transmission, traveled to parts of the country and visited five clubs and bars in Itaewon from Friday night until the early hours of Saturday last week.
The KCDC said an estimated 1,510 people or more visited the five nightlife establishments, including King Club, Trunk Club and Club Queen.
"It is highly likely that there are more cases down the road," Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said during a briefing.
The KCDC urged visitors to those clubs to self-isolate to limit the possible spread of the virus and to report to the authorities if they show Covid-19 symptoms.
It also asked people to stay at home if they were at King Club from midnight to 3:30 a.m., Trunk Club from 1 to 1:40 a.m. and Club Queen from 3:30 to 3:50 a.m.
The patient went to Itaewon at about 11 p.m. Friday with a friend, who later tested positive, and spent time at five clubs and bars until about 3:50 a.m. the following day.
He tested positive and was admitted to a hospital in Suwon, Gyeonggi, on Wednesday morning.
The 13 new cases include a 31-year-old co-worker of the patient who was confirmed earlier on Friday to have the virus. The two work in the same IT company based in Seongnam, Gyeonggi. The man, a Yongin resident, has been admitted to a hospital in Anseong in the same province of Gyeonggi.
The city office of Yongin said it identified 58 people the man had contact with in its jurisdiction, including 44 of his co-workers. The man's company has been shut down to stem the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, the KCDC said Friday morning that 12 infections were detected across the nation Thursday, all but one of which came from overseas, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,822.
The nation's death toll remained unchanged at 256, the KCDC said. In total, 9,484 people in Korea have recovered from the virus, up 65 from a day earlier, which means nearly 88 percent of the patients here have been cured.