Though South Korea appeared to have gained control of the coronavirus, one man's night out might have set the country back.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) confirmed 102 new cases of coronavirus as of Tuesday afternoon, The Korea Herald reports. The new cluster of cases has been traced back to one man who visited multiple nightlife establishments days before testing positive for COVID-19.
Health authorities learned that the 29-year-old man visited several bars in Seoul's popular Itaewon district on May 1, and became the first person to test positive in the city in days. Contact tracing revealed an infectious cluster, with 73 people who were partying in Itaewon contracting the virus, and 29 other cases through secondary transmission.
So far, no tertiary transmissions have been reported. But, health officials are urging people who have visited the area in April and early May to get tested for coronavirus. The city is also looking to find people who may have come in contact with the man. Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon says the city has secured a list of 10,905 patrons of the Itaewon district through mobile operators. Officials also used entry logs from the vrious venues, though they haven't been totally accurate. Vice reports that one of the venues visited by the man was a LGBTQ club, and because South Korea is a "highly conservative country where homophobic sentiment is common," people may have used fake names in the entry logs.
Additionally, authorities managed to track down 494 people through credit card transactions. The city is now sending them text messages instructing them to get tested.
Due to the outbreak, the government has closed all entertainment facilities. Also 12 South Korean cities—including Seoul, Daegu, Incheon, and Daejeon—have either ordered or are planning to order an administrative shut down of certain businesses.