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Seoul coronavirus cluster raises the stakes for South Korea

Outbreak near major transport hub shatters city's sense of security

A worker disinfects a subway car on March 11 amid growing concern over the coronavirus in Seoul.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- The Sindorim neighborhood on Seoul's southeastern edge is a crossroads of commerce and transport, home to factories and office buildings. Sindorim Station is a transfer point onto the Seoul metro's busiest line, and a vital gateway to the capital from the nearby city of Incheon and surrounding Gyeonggi Province.

So the discovery of at least 99 confirmed COVID-19 infections linked to the district this week has deepened fears that the virus could spread, via commuters, from Sindorim throughout the crowded capital area -- home to much of South Korea's population of 52 million.

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