In February, South Korea became one of the first countries outside China to report a significant spike in infections, and through a widespread track, trace, and test approach, the country managed to get its infection rate under control. Thus lockdown have been lifted and the country’s economy was slowly reopened.
On May 1, a 29-year-old man visited five bars and clubs in Itaewon, one of Seoul’s most popular nightlife districts, and unfortunately, last Wednesday the man tested positive for Covid-19, now authorities are frantically trying to track down 11,000 people who may have been exposed in a desperate bid to prevent a second wave of Covid-19 infections.
On Tuesday the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) confirmed that it had already identified 102 infections linked to the bars and clubs, but it was urging all others who may have been in the areas late on May 1 or the early hours of May 2 to get tested.
City officials had initially tried to track those who visited the bars and clubs using entry logs from the premises. But that method proved ineffective because some of the names turned out to be false.
One of the reason of those false information is because at least one club the man visited was a guy club. Media coverage on the incident, making social media flooded with anti-gay slurs, blaming the man and those at the club for endangering the country’s fight against the pandemic.
A Facebook post from Yongin with information about the man’s movements had nearly 100 angry comments.
“Because of people like this, everyone suffers,” one commenter wrote.
The biggest obstacle now is social media stirring up hatred against certain group of people. The government is offering anonymous testing in a bid to ensure those who visited the clubs come forward.
Authorities in Seoul are now using other methods to track possible infections including using data from cell phone operator and also credit card information who were in that area during that period of time.
The authorities say that so far, 7,000 people have contacted them and been tested. But the latest spike in cases shows how difficult it is to control the spread of the virus once strict lockdown measures have been lifted.
Source : LA Times