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Gov't to inspect retail logistics centers for infection risks: PM

10:07 May 29, 2020

SEOUL, May 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's government will carry out across-the-board inspections of logistics centers, associated with online retailers for possible infections risks, the prime minister said Friday, amid growing alarm over new coronavirus cases.

"We plan to discuss measures for logistics centers run by online retailers and inspect them," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said in a government response meeting.

"In addition to logistics centers, there are some workplaces where a lot of people work in closed spaces ... (I urge) health authorities and local governments to find these facilities one by one and inspect their quarantine circumstances."

A health worker checks a visitor's temperature at a virus screening center set up at Bucheon, just west of Seoul, on May 28, 2020. (Yonhap)

Chung's remarks follow a spike in new infections in Seoul and its surrounding areas traced to logistics centers ran by e-commerce operators Coupang and Market Kurly.

On Thursday, South Korea reported 79 cases, the highest number of new COVID-19 infections in nearly two months. Most of the cases were concentrated in the capital area that includes Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province.

Infections linked to Coupang are estimated to have topped 90 cases as of late Thursday, mostly among people who work at the company's logistics center in Bucheon, just west of Seoul.

"The (government's) everyday quarantine scheme has faced a critical challenge. Carelessness is threatening the safety of people in the capital area," Chung said.

On Thursday, the government tightened quarantine measures in the capital area over the next two weeks as part of efforts to fend off additional infections in the densely-populated area where half of the country's population lives.

mlee@yna.co.kr
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