South Korea: Seoul closes again its bars and nightclubs

South Korea ordered all bars and clubs in the capital city of Seoul to close again after 35 new cases of the coronavirus were reported on Sunday. Most of the new cases can be traced back to a 29-year old man who has been tested positive for the coronavirus after visiting last week several bars and nightclubs in Itaewon, a Seoul neighborhood known for its nightlife.

"Carelessness can lead to an explosion in infections," said Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and ordered over 2,100 nightclubs, hostess bars, and discos to close indefinitely with immediate effect.

In order to contain the spread of the coronavirus authorities have already tested more than 2,450 people who went to the night spots in the Itaewon neighbourhood at the time in question. 86 people had tested positive. The officals want to test 3,000 more who have been visiting the area in that time. Since many of the bars and clubs are meeting points of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community which is still considered a taboo in the Korean society,  the unintended consequences of South Korea’s invasive tracing methods and its disclosure of some patient information are now highlighted.

Park Won-soon pleaded with people who visited the neighborhood at the time in question to be tested. He promised to protect personal information and warned that people caught evading testing could be fined.

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