More than 50 employees and patients at a nursing home in Busan have been infected with the novel coronavirus, the largest figure traced to a single virus cluster in the city, according to the city government on Wednesday. One of the infected patients died.
A total of 52 people tested positive at the nursing home, Haeddeurak in Mandeok-dong, Buk-gu -- 43 patients and nine staff members.
The hospital was immediately put under cohort isolation after the infections were confirmed Wednesday morning following coronavirus tests on 262 patients and staff, prompted by the diagnosis a day earlier of a nursing assistant in her 50s.
Health authorities are in the process of tracing the nursing assistant’s contacts.
Meanwhile, the country reported 84 new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours ending Tuesday at midnight, including 53 local infections, raising the total caseload to 24,889, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. These numbers do not include the 52 cases in Busan, which will be added to tomorrow’s tally.
The daily number of new cases fell back to a double-digit figure after 102 cases were reported Tuesday.
Although the country has seen a downward trend in its daily case count, the health authorities remain vigilant over sporadic group infections across the nation. South Korea eased its social distancing guidelines from Level 2 to Level 1 in a three-tier system starting Monday.
Under the eased rules, high-risk facilities such as clubs, karaoke rooms, bars and buffet restaurants can now do business.
Attendance caps at all schools nationwide will be eased to two-thirds starting Oct. 19, which will allow students to attend school every day in regions other than the densely populated Greater Seoul area.
Of the 84 new cases, 46 were in Greater Seoul -- 23 in Seoul, 15 in Gyeonggi Province and eight in Incheon.
Small gatherings among families and friends have emerged as sources of new cases.
A total of 18 people tested positive after a meeting in Dongducheon, Gyeonggi Province, while eight cases have been tied to a gathering in Gangneung, Gangwon Province.
By Park Han-na (email@example.com