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4 cases in Seoul linked to community center

Sing reads the Jongno Welfare Center for the Elderly in the central Jongno District of Seoul is shut down to contain COVID-19. The center is identified as another COVID-19 cluster by health authorities after a branch of the Shincheonji Church in Daegu and a mental institution in adjacent North Gyeongsang Province. (Yonhap)
Sing reads the Jongno Welfare Center for the Elderly in the central Jongno District of Seoul is shut down to contain COVID-19. The center is identified as another COVID-19 cluster by health authorities after a branch of the Shincheonji Church in Daegu and a mental institution in adjacent North Gyeongsang Province. (Yonhap)

A community center for the elderly in Seoul’s central Jongno District has been identified as another COVID-19 cluster by health authorities, who have been tracing infection routes of several patients in Seoul with what first appeared to be unclear transmission paths.

Officials at the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said four out of nine patients confirmed to be infected in Jongno, which has the highest number of patients in Seoul, were believed to have contracted the disease at the Jongno Welfare Center for the Elderly.

Officials said they are continuing the investigation to identify all possible contacts of the patients.

The person who set off the chain of infections there was found to have had lunch at the center with an infected visitor.

The center would be first infection cluster in Seoul and third nationwide, after a branch of the Shincheonji Church in Daegu and a mental hospital in the surrounding region.

South Korea has seen an exponential increase in virus infections, centered on two large clusters -- church services in the southeastern city of Daegu and a mental institution in adjacent North Gyeongsang Province. The number of confirmed cases stood at 602, with five deaths, as of 4 p.m. Sunday.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)
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