Monday, March 8

Covid-19: South Korea begins testing employees at hospitals, nursing homes

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South Korea has reported 76 new cases of the coronavirus as officials begin testing tens of thousands of employees at hospitals and nursing homes to prevent transmissions at live-in facilities.

The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Monday brought the national caseload to 25,275, including 444 deaths.

Thirty-seven of the new cases were from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, home to about half of the country’s 51 million people, where health workers have scrambled to track infections linked to various places and groups, including hospitals, churches, schools and workers.

Fifteen cases were reported from the southern port city of Busan, where more than 70 infections so far have been linked to a hospital for the elderly.

Health officials from Monday will start a process to test 130,000 employees and 30,000 patients at hospitals, nursing homes and welfare centres for senior citizens in the greater capital area in part of efforts to prevent outbreaks at these facilities.