• S. Korea On High Alert Over New Cluster Infections From Itaewon Nightlife Scene

Officials disinfect a club in Itaewon.
Officials disinfect a club in Itaewon.
[Anchor]

Novel coronavirus infections connected to bars and clubs in the international district of Itaewon in Seoul continue to rise amid concerns of a second wave of COVID-19.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said as of noon Tuesday, at least 102 people have contracted the virus from either those that went to the nightlife establishments or through secondary infections.

Ron Chang from the TBS eFM News desk joins us in the studio.

What’s the latest?

[Reporter]

Like you said, so far at least 102 people have been infected with the virus in connection to the bars and clubs.

According to the KCDC, 73 of them visited the nightlife hotspots in Itaewon while the remaining 29 are family members, acquaintances and colleagues.

By region, Seoul has the most cases at 64 followed by Gyeonggi with 23.

Other affected areas include Incheon, North Chungcheong, North Jeolla, Busan and Jeju Island.

What is especially worrying is that these infections were confirmed in all age groups up to those in their 60s, soldiers and even medical personnel.

[Anchor]

Ron, the Itaewon cluster came to light after a 29-year-old man from Yongin tested positive for COVID-19 on May 6 after visiting multiple clubs between the night of May 1 and the early hours of May 2.

But the government announced on Monday that other Itaewon partygoers were infected with the virus at a different club and they didn’t cross paths with the man from Yongin.

Do you have an update on this?

[Reporter]

Yes, that club’s name is Made, also in the Itaewon area, and two infections were confirmed there.

This has made health officials believe that there are several points of origin for the new Itaewon cluster, which is even more worrying as the government works to track down everyone that was at all the clubs.

Some 2,000 of 5,500 visitors who visited Itaewon clubs in early May are still not accounted for.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said the city has secured a list of around 10,900 visitors in the area through data provided by mobile operators and it has sent text messages urging them to get tested.

Park as well as other central government officials, including Health Minister Park Neung-hoo, has also urged anyone who visited the Itaewon area between the end of April and the first few days of May to undergo diagnostic tests regardless of if they went to clubs or have symptoms for the disease.

<Photo: Yonhap News>

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