Photo: via Bernama

SEOUL: South Korea reported more than 50 new virus cases for the second consecutive day Friday, all in the Seoul metropolitan area due to logistics centre-tied cluster infections, threatening to derail health authorities’ virus fight amid lingering concerns about community spread, Yonhap news agency reported.

The newly added 58 Covid-19 cases, including 55 local infections, raised the total caseload to 11,402, according to the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Most of the new infections were tied to a distribution facility run by e-commerce leader Coupang in Bucheon, west of Seoul.

Friday’s newly identified cases came in below the nearly two-month high of 79 the previous day.

All the new infections were reported in greater Seoul area, putting renewed strains on the country’s virus response capability to stem further virus spread.

At least 96 cases have been traced to the logistics centre since the first patient was confirmed last week, according to the KCDC.

The logistics centre cluster has brought to the fore the vulnerability of workplaces where many people work in a close environment without strictly complying with quarantine measures.

Coupang and Market Kurly, an online grocery delivery platform, also reported virus infections at their logistics centres in Goyang, north of Seoul and in eastern Seoul, respectively.

Alarmed by the spike in virus cases, health authorities opted to impose a tighter social distancing campaign in the densely populated metropolitan area — Seoul and the surrounding areas, home to half of the country’s population of more than 50 million — over the next two weeks through June 14. – Bernama