Wonju grappling with surge in new virus cases
SEOUL, Wonju in Gangwon Province, one of the nation’s least coronavirus-affected regions, reported as many as 16 confirmed cases in a single day on Tuesday, putting municipal authorities with limited quarantine resources on high alert.
The municipality of Wonju, 130 kilometers southeast of Seoul, said the 16 new patients include two young students — a second grader at Wonju Technical High School and a sixth grader at Sahmyook Elementary School.
To the embarrassment of quarantine officials, the latest infections appear to have originated from various places, including churches and fitness gym, instead of from a single or few known transmitters, the municipality said, forecasting it will take very long to confirm the exact transmission routes.
“It seems that the 16 new coronavirus cases didn’t come from any particular origin. Instead, they have occurred separately,” Mayor Won Chang-muk said in a media briefing.
The outbreak of 16 new cases came one day after the city reported six additional COVID-19 patients. Prior to this week, Wonju, with a population of about 353,000, had reported a cumulative caseload of less than 70.
According to municipal officials, the Wonju Technical student appears to have contracted the disease from another high school student at a fitness gym. They also said they will ask all 300 first and sixth graders at Sahmyook Elementary, who recently went to school on the same day as the infected student, to take coronavirus tests.
But they said the municipality is running short of quarantine investigators and negative pressure rooms needed to deal with the sudden surge in new COVID-19 patients.
Source: Yonhap News Agency