S. Korea orders month-long suspension of clubs, bars after new wave of COVID-19 infections

Seoul [South Korea], May 8 (ANI): The South Korean government on Friday issued a month-long advisory on clubs and bars, asking such establishments to voluntarily suspend business after a group of coronavirus infections were reported at Seoul's popular multicultural neighbourhood of Itaewon.

Under the advisory, clubs and bars across the country will be advised to voluntarily suspend business for a month starting 8 p.m. today (local time), Yonhap news agency reported.

The government also plans to tighten precautionary measures, such as making sure that entry logs of visitors are accurately filled out, the media stated.

The move comes amid concerns that South Korea may face a fresh round of cluster of infections after appearing to have successfully clamped down on local ones.

A 29-year-old patient, whom health authorities consider the first patient in the recent infections, has tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting five clubs and bars in Itaewon from Friday night to the early hours of Saturday last week.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has confirmed 14 other cases in relation to the case, including three foreign nationals and one Army officer. All patients are aged between 19 and 37.

The patients, who are suspected of contracting the virus at the nightlife establishments, were found not to have worn face masks during their visit, according to the KCDC.

Health authorities have yet to identify how the 29-year-old first contracted the virus.

South Korea did not report any local cases for the past few days until the recent infections emerged.

The country shifted to everyday life quarantine on Wednesday, easing social distancing measures after new infections declined. (ANI)