|A shutdown notice is posted at the door of a hagwon in Noryangjin, Seoul, Wednesday, where a new confirmed case was reported./ Yonhap|
By Kim Se-jeong
A busy district of Noryangjin, Seoul, filled with cram schools was empty Thursday after a case of COVID-19 was reported at one of them.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government ordered the closure of the affected school and the 65 people the patient came into contact with into self-quarantine. Among these 50 had tested negative as of Thursday morning.
The case involved a cram school student in his 20s who had symptoms Sunday and attended classes Monday before being confirmed to be infected with the new coronavirus Tuesday.
The city shut down three other cram schools last month after cases of infection occurred at them.
It remains to be seen whether this will lead to a voluntary shutdown of cram schools in the city. Despite the city’s recommendations, the schools, also known as hagwons, remain open.
According to the Seoul Education Office, as of Wednesday, only 3,763 cram schools in its jurisdiction had closed, or 14.9 percent. In the affluent districts of Gangnam and Seocho, the rate was lower at 8.2 percent.
Hagwons are seen as potential ground for infection clusters that the city government and infectious diseases experts are worried about. Seoul has a population of 10 million