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(LEAD) Logistics center-linked virus cases snowball to 69, emerging as another cluster in greater Seoul

09:55 May 28, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with additional case reported at another logistics center in paras 2-4)

SEOUL, May 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Thursday reported a continued spike in new coronavirus cases linked to a logistics center in a city west of Seoul, which has emerged as yet another cluster.

A total of 69 cases had been traced to the logistics center operated by the country's leading e-commerce operator, Coupang Inc., in Bucheon as of early Thursday, according to health authorities.

Coupang also said one more employee at its other logistics center in Goyang, just north of Seoul, also tested positive for COVID-19.

All employees at the facility who had contact with the patient were put under self-isolation, Coupang said, adding that the facility has been shut down.

The first related case, confirmed last week, is believed to be linked to a cram school instructor in nearby Incheon, who contracted the virus after a visit to Seoul's nightlife area of Itaewon that has emerged as the capital city's largest cluster.

This photo, taken on May 26, 2020, shows a logistics center of Coupang, the country's leading e-commerce operator, in Bucheon, west of Seoul, where a large number of COVID-19 cases were reported. (Yonhap)

Concerns about community spread have mounted, as Seoul and the surrounding areas are home to roughly half of South Korea's population of more than 50 million.

"It looks like preventive measures against the epidemic by employees at the facility, such as wearing masks or taking a break if they are sick, have not been properly carried out," Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said during a meeting.

"Infection routes are being diversified in work places, cram schools and karaoke rooms in the metropolitan area," Park said.

Health authorities said they are conducting an epidemiological study into the cases, adding that workers at the facility did not appear to properly comply with quarantine measures.

khj@yna.co.kr
(END)

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