Lotte Department Store (Yonhap)
Lotte Department Store, one of the country's major department store chain operators, said Friday that one of its outlets in downtown Seoul will be temporarily closed starting late Friday for a cleanup following a recent visit there by a patient diagnosed with the new coronavirus.
The store in the downtown Myeongdong area, the most bustling shopping district, will be shut down for sterilization, it said.
The move follows confirmation that a female Chinese tourist from China's Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, visited the department store Sunday, one day before she was diagnosed with the novel virus.
It will be the first time the department store has closed for quarantine purposes, according to company officials.
The store will be reopened Monday after it is thoroughly cleaned and sterilized, they added.
E-Mart Inc., the country's leading discount chain operator, decided to temporarily shut the doors of its store in Mapo, western Seoul, as well, after the same patient visited the place Sunday.
The company said it plans to carry out disinfection operations on the store, while its reopening date has not yet been decided.
Local disease control authorities also carried out quarantine operations at a hotel in central Seoul, where the patient stayed for an unknown number of days.
South Korea on Friday confirmed another case of novel coronavirus infection, bringing the total here to 24. (Yonhap)