South Korea was on alert Saturday as more than a dozen people infected with the coronavirus from clubs in Seoul could spread the virus across the country amid eased social distancing.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 17 out of 18 new COVID-19 cases were linked to a person who visited clubs and bars in Seoul's popular multicultural neighbourhood of Itaewon last weekend, reports Yonhap News Agency.
The 29-year-old whom health authorities consider to be the first patient in the cluster infection, visited five clubs and bars in Itaewon from the night of May 1 to the early hours of the following morning.
On Saturday, Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglip said the health authorities are in the process of identifying people who visited the clubs, and family members and acquaintances of those who have been infected with the virus from the clubs, to make sure the virus does not spread in local communities.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun instructed officials to find those who visited clubs in Itaewon last week and test them for the novel coronavirus.
Also Saturday, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon imposed an administrative order to effectively suspend business at clubs, bars and other night-life establishments in the capital city, said the Yonhap News Agency report.
The precautionary measure will remain in place until further notice, without specifying a date.
On Saturday, South Korea reported 18 more cases, raising the country's total to 10,840.
The nation's death toll remained unchanged at 256, according to the KCDC.
( With inputs from IANS )