May 13, 2020 11:13
Health authorities have turned to the police to track down 1,982 Itaewon clubgoers whose whereabouts remain unknown amid efforts to stem a resurgence in coronavirus infections.
Some 5,517 people visited five nightclubs in Itaewon from April 30 to May 5, and about 2,000 out of them have not reported their whereabouts or remain out of contact.
Yoon Tae-ho, who heads a government taskforce tackling the epidemic, said the missing clubgoers were traced based on records of credit card transactions and mobile phone data, and about 8,599 police officers are trying to find them.
Health authorities have also tracked down another 10,905 people who spent more than 30 minutes around the five nightclubs from midnight to 5 a.m. since April 24, when Seoul city allowed bars and clubs to reopen, to May 6.
Infections were also traced to nine other nightclubs in Itaewon.
Meanwhile, a 33-year-old doctor serving his mandatory military service as a public health official in Gimje, North Jeolla Province tested positive for coronavirus after visiting Itaewon clubs and bars over the long weekend. He had come into contact with some 30 patients back in Gimje afterwards.
And a 27-year-old employee at food maker CJ Cheiljedang's factory in Busan tested positive after visiting Itaewon clubs on May 2. He came to work last week, prompting CJ to shut down part of the factory in the southern port city that employs 1,000 workers.
Korea reported 26 new cases as of Wednesday morning, bringing the total to 10,962.
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