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Over 600 people tested positive again for COVID-19 in Korea

Over 600 people tested positive again for COVID-19 in Korea

Posted September. 12, 2020 07:20,   

Updated September. 12, 2020 07:20


It was found that over 600 here have tested positive again for COVID-19 in Korea after making a full recovery. Some of them were tested positive again for the virus five months after recovery. Although it has not been confirmed by health authorities, some point out that case of reinfection might have already occurred in South Korea.

According to international scientific journal Science on Aug. 24, Hong Kong scientists found that a man in his 30s, who had tested positive for COVID-19 in Mach., became reinfected with the virus on Aug. 15. This is different from the so-called re-expression‎ or reactivation of the virus, where a small amount of virus remaining in the body is reactivated, since the man is reinfected with a different strain the second time. An analysis of the virus detected in the man’s body showed that the man had a different strain of the coronavirus than the one he had infected with in March.

There has been no reported case of a reinfection caused by a new strain in Korea. There are 628 patients who caught the virus again after recovery as of Tuesday. They all tested positive for COVID-19 again after being treated and testing negative for the virus. Coronavirus patients should test negative for the virus twice in a row, with tests conducted at least 24 hours apart, before being discharged from hospital. Among the 628 cases, there was one case who tested positive again 144 days after a full recovery.

The South Korean health authorities here believe that the 628 cases that the coronavirus was re-detected are not likely to be the cases of reinfection. “Our 7-day observation showed that a person, who tested positive again for COVID-19 after recovery, had no symptoms and there were no infections among close contacts,” said Kwak Jin, a Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) official in charge of patient management. “Considering this, it is unlikely a case of reinfection but a detection of biological residue in the body.”

The KCDC has not officially concluded that there is no case of reinfection in the country since their assumption is not based on an analysis of genetic sequence of the virus from those who caught COVID-19 the second time. “We’ll continue our research on the patients who tested positive again for the coronavirus,” said Kwak.

Mee-Jee Lee image@donga.com