Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul (Yonhap)
Three South Korean baseball games scheduled for Saturday were canceled, following three additional cases of the novel coronavirus on two clubs.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said Saturday two members of the Doosan Bears and one player from the NC Dinos have tested positive for COVID-19. The Bears' home game against the LG Twins at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul has been canceled, along with the Dinos' road game against the Kiwoom Heroes at Gocheok Sky Dome in the nation's capital. Both games will be rescheduled for a later date.
Hours after making that call, the KBO also canceled the game between the KT Wiz and the Kia Tigers at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, as the entire Tigers team was scheduled to undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. The Tigers played the Bears last Friday and Sunday.
The Dinos and the Bears also had their Friday games wiped out because of COVID-19. On Friday, two members of the Dinos tested positive for COVID-19, and the Dinos-Heroes game got wiped out. The Twins-Bears game was canceled out of precaution because the Bears had played the Dinos in Seoul on Tuesday and Wednesday. The entire Bears team received COVID-19 tests Friday, and two results came back positive, while one additional Dinos player got a positive result in a teamwide retest.
The Dinos received their initial tests Thursday after a guest at a Seoul hotel the team had stayed in for the road trip had been infected.
Another club that used the same hotel over the past weekend, the Hanwha Eagles, received negative test results for all of their players and staff. The Eagles had their Thursday's game canceled but played Friday. They are scheduled to do so again Saturday, barring inclement weather.
Under its health and safety protocols, the KBO will not halt the season based on a relatively small number of cases. Teams with infected players will be able to add replacements without dropping active players to make room for them.
In case of a massive breakout, the league will sit down with club executives to discuss a possible suspension of the season.
The KBO is scheduled to press pause for an Olympic break from July 19 to Aug. 9. (Yonhap)