Go to contents

First case of COVID-19 transmission inside an elevator

Posted February. 29, 2020 07:49,   

Updated February. 29, 2020 07:49


The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been transmitted inside an elevator, marking the first such case in South Korea.

A 41-year-old female working for the Seongdong District Office was confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 after being in an elevator with a minister of Myeongseong Church, COVID-19 patient, at Prior Palace Apartment in Seoul at around 8 a.m. on Feb. 18, according to Gangdong District, Seoul on Friday. The two were in the elevator together for about a minute without wearing masks. Also in the elevator were the woman’s two children, who wore masks and were tested negative.

Health authorities checked the CCTV footage of the apartment during their epidemiology investigation and found out that the woman contacted with the minister inside an elevator. “It is difficult to confirm‎ if the minister coughed in the elevator,” a Gangdong official said. “The woman doesn’t go to the Myeongseong Church and didn’t know that she was in the elevator with the minister.” The minister is a curate for the Myeongseong Church, which has about 80,000 devotees. He attended a service with some 2,000 devotees on Feb. 16 before he was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Feb. 25.

In another case, COVID-19 was transmitted between two people without wearing masks during a short conversation. A 40-year-old delivery man in Songpa District, Seoul was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Feb. 24. He went to an ice-cream store run by his acquaintance on Feb. 22 and had a conversation with his acquaintance for about two minutes. When it was confirmed that his acquaintance had COVID-19, the delivery man was tested and found positive for COVID-19. Health authorities presumed that the delivery man was infected with COVID-19 during the conversation.