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(LEAD) 17 COVID-19 cases reported at major Seoul hospital

14:57 September 10, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details in last three paras; CHANGES photos)

SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Yonhap) -- Seventeen people, including hospital employees and patients, have tested positive for the new coronavirus at one of the biggest general hospitals in Seoul as of Thursday.

An outside worker, associated with the nutrition team of the Severance Hospital in western Seoul, tested positive Wednesday, becoming the first case in the group. Nine others have additionally tested positive in the past two days.

On Thursday, seven other cases were reported at the hospital's rehabilitation hospital building. They include a patient, caretaker, guardian and nurse.

The hospital said it has suspended visits of outpatients at the rehabilitation hospital and restricted patients there from moving to other areas. Screening tests for patients, guardians and employees will also take place.

The city government and health authorities have yet to determine the exact infection route. They are in the process of tracing potential cases through closed-circuit TV footage.

A barricade has been placed in front of the rehabilitation hospital building in Severance Hospital in western Seoul, after new coronavirus cases were reported on Sept. 10, 2020. (Yonhap)
Hospital employees at Severance Hospital in western Seoul stand in a line at the lobby of the rehabilitation hospital building to get tested for the new coronavirus on Sept. 10, 2020. (Yonhap)
Severance Hospital in western Seoul (Yonhap)

The latest case comes amid concerns over sporadic cluster infections in the capital.

While the number of daily new cases in Seoul stayed below 50 for a second straight day Thursday, in contrast to over 150 cases in late August, new infections have continuously emerged.

Eight cases have been reported among public park workers, while nearly 20 have so far tested positive in relation to a Buddhist sect. Cluster infections have also been reported at a call center in eastern Seoul and a logistics center in southeastern Seoul.

mlee@yna.co.kr
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