A medical worker guides people for COVID-19 testing at a public health center in Seoul’s Songpa District, Friday. Yonhap
Man reported to police as his lie causes mass infections
By Jun Ji-hye
A new employee at a geriatric hospital in Korea caused an outbreak involving more than 50 patients and employees, after concealing the positive results of a COVID-19 virus test he took as part of the hospital’s hiring process, according to health authorities, Friday.
After another worker, a nursing assistant, tested positive on Oct. 10, an epidemiological investigation traced the source of the outbreak to the new employee, a Chinese national in his 60s hired recently as a hospital caregiver. Testing of all patients and employees at the hospital, located in Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province, showed that the virus had spread to 39 patients and 15 employees there.
Before being hired by the hospital, the Chinese national underwent two virus tests at a public health center in Seoul’s Yeongdeungpo District on Oct. 5 and 6. He tested negative in the first test, but positive in the second.
The public health center notified him of the positive test result on Oct. 7 through a phone call. But the man turned off his mobile phone to cut off further contact.
Authorities’ investigation found that the hospital gave him the job on the same day, after he presented the first test results only.
The public health center reported the man to the police for violating the Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act.
All infections at the hospital occurred on the fourth floor where the man worked, authorities said, noting that they put the hospital under cohort isolation, referring to a lockdown of the entire facility, to prevent further spread of the virus.Internet Explorer Channel Network