South Korean Olympic athletes, including swimmers, have seen their return to training derailed due to a coronavirus resurgence in the nation.
The Jincheon National Training Center was set to welcome national-level athletes spanning swimming, shooting, track & field, and more originally on May 12th, with that date already having been pushed out one week to May 19th.
However, now due to an increase in cases connected to clubs and bars in Seoul’s multicultural district of Itaewon, per Yonhap News, the athletes’ hiatus is indefinite.
Public museums and libraries opened in the past week and South Korean schools were also slated to start classes in the coming days, as daily coronavirus infections had stayed close to zero. However, according to Yonhap News, new cases linked to nightclubs have risen to 119 across the country in recent days.
As a nation, South Korea has had over 11,000 coronavirus cases reported, resulting in 262 deaths. May 5th saw 3 new coronavirus cases logged, whereas May 14th recorded 29, as an example of the spike.
‘The cases quickly swelled into a cluster infection, affecting not only those who had been to Itaewon but also nearly 30 others who were infected through secondary transmission’, the agency added.
“(Containing) contagious diseases is a matter of speed. Voluntary screening is more important than anything. Please get checked immediately if you visited clubs in Itaewon between April 24 and May 6,” the agency quoted Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon as saying.
Whenever athletes are able to return to the Jincheon National Training Center, they will first need to undergo COVID-19 testing.
Of the situation, national record holder Kim Seoyeong summed up her reaction on Instagram with simply, “These days.”