Workers in protective gear disinfect a subway car as a precaution against the new coronavirus in Seoul, South Korea. AP
A daunting new COVID-19 cluster has emerged in a call-center in South Korea’s capital Seoul, accounting for more than 90 confirmed cases as of March 11, announced Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon via a public radio interview.
The 90-plus patients surfaced after all 207 of the call-center employees, who work from the 11th floor of a building located in the district of Guro, and their families were tested, Park briefed the public.
While Daegu’s meticulous counter-measures have nearly reined in its sprawling cases traced to the Shincheonji Church followers, South’s bustling metropolitan that houses 9.7 million people takes the baton next in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
South’s Centers for Disease Control (KCDC) reported total confirmed cases of 7,755 with 6 additional fatalities on Wednesday.
The country is the third worst affected hotspot after Italy and Iraq outside of China.
Some 550 co-workers from other three call-centers in the same building were self-quarantined for further virus inspection with Seoul foreseeing another spike in the coming days.
According to the epidemiological results, so far five of the call-center workers were linked to the Shincheonji sect but tested negative.
Park’s preventative measures include investigating similar 417 call-centers citywide, declaring a nearby public transit Sindorim Station under emergency and tracking down plausible cases connected to the employees tested positive.
“Not only did the defendants refuse health inspection, the followers of the sect refused to comply with quarantine measures,” read the Seoul City press release on Sunday.
South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) announced additional 161 cases and 2 deaths on Monday, bringing the toll to 763 that puts the country third in the list of COVID-19 infected hotspots.
"THANKS TO YOU," the drones wrote in the sky next to a heart shape, then formed a silhouette of the Korean peninsula with the message: "Cheer up, Republic of Korea."
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