With the COVID-19 virus spreading across the country, department stores and malls are temporarily shutting down branches that confirmed patients are found to have visited.
On Friday, Shinsegae Department Store closed its Gangnam branch in Seoul, when one of the employees of its partner company was confirmed to be infected by the new coronavirus.
According to the department store, the employee had been off duty for personal reasons since Monday, and then went into self-quarantine on Thursday after informing the company that they had been in contact with a COVID-19 patient.
While the employee has not been at the Gangnam branch since Monday, the department store said it decided to shut down as a preventive measure on Friday, and disinfect the entire building before reopening on Saturday. The branch recorded annual sales of 2 trillion won ($1.71 billion) in 2019, becoming the first single store to do so in the retail industry in South Korea.
IFC Mall, the country’s largest mall, located in Yeouido, Seoul, also closed Friday after a confirmed patient was reported to have visited.
The patient, who had also visited the Export-Import Bank of Korea, was confirmed to be infected Thursday evening.
The Gangnam branch of NewCore outlet, operated by E-Land Group, also enforced a closure on Friday following the news of a confirmed patient’s visit, and will reopen after disinfection operations on Saturday.
As for Shinsegae Department Store, Friday is the fifth time to temporarily close its branch due to the coronavirus.
The retail giant has partially closed the 6th floor of its Gyeonggi branch, located in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province on Thursday, after a confirmed patient was found to have visited the floor in the store.
Up to this week, the Gangnam branch had shut down the floor for groceries and food court, and Daegu and Gimhae branches had closed and reopened this week.
Lotte Department Store reopened its Daegu branch on Thursday after it closed and fumigated the store on Wednesday.
By Jo He-rim (email@example.com