- As many as 7,755 cases of Covid-19 virus have been reported in South Korea.
- More than half the cases in South Korea belong to a religious cult.
- Church groups had already taken precautions to prevent the spread of infection.
Coronavirus infection has spread to South Korea at a high speed. In the country, there have been a few dozen cases in a single week that have grown to reach several thousand. South Korea has been preparing enough to deal with the coronavirus, yet it has begun to question why the infection has suddenly spread. At the same time, the question is whether there may be sudden outbreaks in other countries.
As many as 7,755 cases of Covid-19 virus have been reported in South Korea, more than half belong to a religious sect. Critics say that because of the cult’s belief in secrecy, the infection spread to them could not be caught. Authorities say the most contagious outbreak has spread among Christian denominations belonging to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus.
People were joining the church service in Daegu City, and it is believed that they infected one another. The infection was not realized, and those attending church service moved to other parts of the country. South Korean health officials believe the virus was first detected in a 61 year-old man. The test for the elderly man, who is a member of the church, came positive last week. Their case is being investigated further, as they are believed to have spread the infection to others.
Older patients were not even ready to be admitted to the hospital at first. He is believed to have attended church more than once before his test came back positive. Health officials say they are likely to become infected too because of the presence of crowds within the church.
“Many people are likely to get infected because they are gathering in a narrow space and sat for more than an hour to pray,” Jung Un-Kyong, director of South Korea’s Center for Disease Control, told reporters. Thus, the victims of infection may later infect others.
“Viruses are transmitted due to our social behavior,” said an infectious disease specialist. “When gathering for service in the church, there are rituals such as singing or mourning, etc. This increases the likelihood of infection.”
Another group suffering from coronavirus infection has been admitted to Cheongdo Hospital. People gathered in the village to mourn for three days in late January after the brother of the cult founder died. In other countries, there has also been a high prevalence of infections in church-affiliated groups. In all these churches, service is now stopped and people are being warned.
When the virus spread to China in December, the first question was why the virus was not detected in advance. It is also a question of whether the infection has spread due to the infection, but not yet the illness and the symptoms didn’t appear. Under these circumstances, it is very difficult to prevent the spread of infection.
Chinese health officials have warned that even if no external symptoms appear, the infection is likely. However, the World Health Organization has not yet commented on the matter. Church groups had already taken precautions to prevent the spread of infection in South Korea before it before it is too late.
So suppose people have taken precautions and taken care of the health of the people around them. However, if the infection is spread, does it mean that the infection is spread even when there are no external symptoms?
Officially known as the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the sect is known as the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony. The cult was founded in the 1980s and is believed to have 250,000 followers. When prayers are held in this church, worshipers are asked to sit together. After prayer, everyone is moving with each other.