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South Korea coronavirus cult cluster spikes

South Korea coronavirus cult cluster spikes”

"We are deeply sorry that because of one of our members, who thought of her condition as a cold because she had not travelled overseas, led to many in our church being infected and thereby caused concern to the local community", it said in a statement. The sharp rise came as the mayor of Daegu - South Korea's fourth biggest city, with a population of over 2.5 million - advised residents to stay indoors, and commanders at a major United States base in the area restricted access.

New cases were also confirmed on Thursday in the capital Seoul and North Gyeongsang province.

"It's like someone dropped a bomb in the middle of the city".

Nearly half the country's patients are linked to a 61-year-old woman who is a member of the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, an entity often accused of being a cult.

The explosion of infections in Daegu and the south east, as well as some new cases in the Seoul metropolitan area where the sources of infections were unclear, have raised concern that health authorities are losing track of the virus as it spreads more broadly.

South Korea reported yesterday the first death in the country of a person infected with Covid-19 and 22 new cases bringing the total to 104.

On Thursday, Japan said two of its passengers who contracted the coronavirus on board quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess had died.

He and several other patients had earlier tested positive for the virus. "We've asked them to stay at home isolated from their families".

"At this stage, the government judged that COVID-19 is spreading locally with a limited scope", Vice Health and Welfare Minister Kim Kang-lip was quoted as saying by Yonhap News.

It said in a statement that health officials were disinfecting its church in Daegu, which the woman patient went to, while tracing her contacts.

Daegu authorities ordered the shutdown of all kindergartens, while all schools will postpone the beginning of the spring semester scheduled for early March by one week in an unprecedented move, Yonhap said.

Media footage showed the few people on Daegu's usually bustling downtown streets wore face masks and kept far apart.

"Travel to and from Daegu is restricted for US service members and highly discouraged for civilians, retirees and family members", it said, adding the policy will be reassessed daily. The Daegu church has about 8,000 followers. A KCDC official told Reuters the government was not considering that measure.

South Korea's CDC didn't provide many details on the country's first recorded fatality but gave its location as a hospital near Daegu, one of the country's biggest cities where a cluster of infections has been found among members of the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, formerly known as Shincheonji Church of Jesus.

The Shincheonji Church of Jesus, which claims it has about 200,000 followers in South Korea, said it has closed all its 74 churches around the nation and told followers to watch its services on YouTube.



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