The Korea Herald


Public health officials warn of potential virus flare up

By Kim Bo-gyung

Published : June 16, 2020 - 10:25

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(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

South Korea’s public health authorities on Tuesday warned of the persistent danger of the novel coronavirus spreading widely in the Seoul area, even as the country recorded its lowest number of locally transmitted infections in two weeks.

Health authorities urged the public to stay on guard to avoid a resurgence like the one seen in Beijing, as higher temperatures here are increasingly taking a toll on virus prevention efforts.

Korea reported 34 coronavirus cases Tuesday, of which 21 were contracted within the community and 13 were imported cases, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are reminded that COVID-19 can rise anytime even when it seems as though we have the situation under control,” Kwon Jun-wook, deputy director of the KCDC, said in a daily briefing, referring to the infection cluster in Beijing.

“COVID-19 can spread in places where the environment is susceptible to transmission. Just as we thought locally transmitted cases were abating here, the virus spread in nightclubs in the capital region.”

Korea’s total stood at 12,155 cases, and the death toll rose by one to 278 from the previous day as of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, according to the KCDC.

Seoul added 12 patients, Gyeonggi Province five and Incheon two.

A high school in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, instructed some 1,130 students and staff combined to get tested for the virus after a 12th grade homeroom teacher tested positive, according to city officials.

A nurse working in the isolation ward of the National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Tuesday morning, according to Goyang City officials.

A total of 46 medical staff who had come into contact with the nurse were waiting for their test results, and an epidemiological investigation by Gyeonggi Province was underway, authorities said.

The lowest daily number of community transmissions did little to alleviate public health and safety concerns, as infections traced to small-scale outbreaks in Seoul and the surrounding area continued to produce new patients.

Three more patients tied to an unregistered door-to-door sales company, Richway, tested positive for the coronavirus, totaling 172, while those linked with a logistics center in Bucheon came to 152, up five from a day earlier, as of Tuesday, according to the KCDC.

By Kim Bo-gyung (