South Korea Reports 31 New Covid-19 Cases, 23 Involving A 61-Year-Old Daegu Church Member
South Korea’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 31 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday (20 Feb), including 23 apparently traced to a single woman.
This 61-year-old attended church services at the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony — accused of being a religious cult.
15 new cases announced on Wednesday (19 Feb) were also allegedly linked to the same woman, reports Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
Church shut down Daegu branch, other services held online or at home
According to CNA, authorities are telling Daegu citizens to stay indoors to prevent further infections.
The church is taking preventive measures by shutting their Daegu branch and instructing other branches to conduct services online or at home.
As of Wednesday (19 Feb), 147 public facilities and restaurants have shut down in Daegu due to the latest news. The number includes 8 hospitals.
Meanwhile, some 1,000 members attended the same services as the woman, and contact tracing is being done.
Korea Herald reports that she attended services on both 9 and 16 Feb, with around 600 and 400 others respectively.
Church cluster bears some similarity to Singapore church clusters
The Daegu church cluster has a parallel to Singapore’s own church clusters, after several members of 2 different churches came down with the virus.
The virus can spread easily in large congregations, although there is perhaps no direct co-relation with attending church and getting infected.
Regardless, church members may wish to remain vigilant and work around sessions online.
We hope the Covid-19 infection can be contained in South Korea and that the preventive measures will be enough.