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Patients at Cheongdo Hospital Had Over 20 Cases of Outside Contact Since Late Jan.

Written: 2020-02-25 11:21:44Updated: 2020-02-25 13:11:30

Patients at Cheongdo Hospital Had Over 20 Cases of Outside Contact Since Late Jan.

Photo : YONHAP News

Patients in a closed ward at Daenam Hospital in the North Gyeongsang provincial county of Cheongdo were found to have had outside contact more than 20 times since late January.

In a press release on the outcome of an internal investigation on Monday, the hospital said between January 22 and February 13, there were eight cases of patients staying out overnight, five cases of external examination and 12 cases of visitations.

A probe into the contagion at the closed ward is currently underway. The hospital is suspected of being connected to the Shincheonji religious sect in Daegu in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The hospital said while some patients in the psychiatric ward as well as some medical staff showed fever and other common cold-like symptoms since February 15, the symptoms were minor and it was difficult at the time to suspect COVID-19.

Amid a rising number of people with similar symptoms, the hospital sought testing for the virus on February 18 and positive test results came out the following day.

The brother of Shincheonji leader Lee Man-hee, meanwhile, received medical care in the hospital's emergency room for five days leading up to his death on January 31.

A funeral was held at the hospital from January 31 to February 2.

The hospital, however, denied any relation to the sect, stressing that no one from its management, medical and administrative staff or their families was found to be involved with the religious group.

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