The COVID-19 cases recently reported in at least three Chinese cities were found to be related to clothing imported from South Korea, raising concerns that the source of infection may be contaminated imported clothing.
Beijing's Chaoyang district reported five new positive COVID-19 cases on Monday, all of which were shop assistants and their roommates working at a clothing store specializing in South Korean clothing in the SOHO Complex of Wangjing, home to many South Korean residents.
A coronavirus-positive case with Omicron variant reported in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, on April 1 was reportedly a shop assistant dealing with South Korean imported clothing, and the virus was detected in the imported clothing.
The possibility of infection due to contact with imported objects contaminated with the novel coronavirus cannot be ruled out, the report said.
On April 2, coronavirus was found in four online-bought South Korean hoodies belonging to a COVID-19 confirmed patient in Changshu, East China’s Jiangsu Province, while other environmental nucleic acid test results were negative. Local health authorities confirmed that the case was related to online shopping for South Korean clothing.
South Korea reported 234,301 new COVID-19 infections on April 3, including 22 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 13,874,216, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). A total of 306 died of COVID-19, raising the total deaths to 17,235.
South Korea saw a record-high number of coronavirus cases on March 17, with more than 600,000 new infections reported in a single day amid the ongoing spread of the Omicron variant.
The number of cases in South Korea is the most tallied in any country in the world over the past 28 days, according to Johns Hopkins University.