Overall Friday, South Korea reported 25 new cases, its first jump above 10 in five days. The figures from the Centers for Disease Control included 12 confirmed in the 24 hours to midnight Thursday and the rest in the hours since.
Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said the 13 newest cases were linked to a 29-year-old patient who visited three nightclubs in Seoul''s Itaewon district last Saturday before testing positive on Wednesday. One was an office colleague of the patient and the others were clubgoers, including three foreigners and a soldier.
Kim said there was a “very high possibility” more infections will be confirmed as health workers are scrambling to trace contacts. He said the clubs'' visitor lists show they received more than 1,500 customers combined on Saturday.
“A drop of ink in clear water spreads swiftly,” Kim said during a briefing, urging vigilance to maintain hard-won gains against the virus.
“Anyone can become that drop of ink that spreads COVID-19.” Three of the cases reported earlier Friday were detected at airport screenings, and three were in the hardest-hit city of Daegu. South Korea has reported more than 10,800 cases and 256 deaths.
South Korea has not reported a daily jump above 100 since April 1, which allowed officials to ease social distancing guidelines, schedule the reopening of schools and allow professional sports to return without fans in the stands.
South Korea''s professional soccer league began its new season on Friday, following Tuesday''s baseball openers. Earlier this week, South Korean troops were allowed to resume leaves after two months of restrictions.
Health officials urged people to reconsider visiting their elderly parents on Friday, which is national parents'' day, and over the weekend.(AP) AMS