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Southwest Japan city sees 12 new coronavirus cases, cluster suspected at school

A special worker is seen disinfecting the Moritsune Elementary School building, where a cluster infection is thought to have taken place, in Kitakyushu on May 29, 2020. (Mainichi/Noriko Tokuno)

KITAKYUSHU -- Twelve people including six elementary and junior high school children tested positive for the novel coronavirus on May 31 in this southwestern Japan city where infections are continuing to spread.

New coronavirus cases have emerged in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, for nine days in a row from May 23 and the number of newly found infections exceeded 10 per day for four consecutive days. A total of 97 people tested positive over the nine days.

According to the Kitakyushu Municipal Government, of the 12 newly infected people, whose ages ranged from their 10s through their 80s, a total of four boys and girls are students of the city-run Moritsune Elementary School in the city's Kokuraminami Ward. They are classmates of another girl who tested positive on May 28. The Kitakyushu government will look into the cases on the assumption that a cluster infection took place.

Three of the 12 newly infected people are health workers in their 20s to 40s from Kitakyushu General Hospital in the city's Kokurakita Ward, where a cluster infection erupted -- bringing the total infections at the hospital to 26 people.

The Kitakyushu government also announced the death of a woman in her 80s from the city's Moji Ward, who had been diagnosed with the new coronavirus on May 25 -- bringing the total number of deaths in the city to four people.

(Japanese original by Takuya Inoue and Akiho Narimatsu, Kyushu News Department)

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