In Korea, Church under fire for the lack of cooperation amid mass coronavirus infection. | HaB

In Korea, Church under fire for the lack of cooperation amid mass coronavirus infection.

New coronavirus infections linked to a church in northern Seoul continued to surge on Monday, causing concern over additional cases among its members, and also a public backlash against the church and its leader for lack of cooperation.

korea coronavirus church

Cases traced to Sarang Jeil Church in the northern ward of Seongbuk reached 315 as of midnight, according to Seoul city government data. The figure is slightly more than 312 that health authorities have confirmed. With the latest figure, the church has emerged as the country’s second-biggest virus cluster following 5,214 cases associated with Shincheonji, a fringe religious sect held accountable for mass infections in the southeastern city of Daegu earlier this year.

korea COVID-19 church

Despite repeated warnings from the government, members of the church, led by conservative pastor Jun Kwang-hoon, attended a mass Liberation Day rally in central Seoul on Saturday.

Health authorities voiced concern that the number of virus cases tied to the church may rise further as thousands of elderly participants shouted slogans and were in close contact with one another. “Of the 4,000 churchgoers whom authorities have identified as of midnight, 3,400 have been placed in quarantine and 2,000 have been screened,” Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglip said in a regular press briefing. Of the total, 312 have tested positive, which translates to a high positive rate of 16.1 percent and calls for swift testing and quarantine,”

See Also:   BTS won the Daesang at the 28th Seoul Music Awards 2019

church korea COVID-19

Kim urged people who attended the mass rally to be tested at nearby screening centers.

“Because the list (of churchgoers) is inaccurate, there are difficulties in tracking down every church member and placing them under quarantine, and there are a considerable number of churchgoers who have not been tested,” Kim said. “Those who show respiratory symptoms, such as fever and coughing, after attending the Seoul rally should immediately visit a screening center to be tested.”

See Also:   How South Korea has avoided panic buying despite COVID-19 outbreak

Public anger over the church and its leader Jun has also mounted, with more than 200,000 people signing an online petition asking for the pastor to be detained.

COVID-19 Seoul

The petition, first posted on Aug. 15, demands that Jun, who was released on bail, be detained again for “harming society’s safety under the mask of religion.” The author said Jun had “wasted” the country’s efforts to end the coronavirus and had shown no sign of regretting his action or worrying about churchgoers’ health.

On Sunday, prosecutors asked a local court to revoke Jun’s bail. He was indicted in March over allegations of violating the election law and was released the following month on condition that he does not take part in any rallies related to the pending case. (Yonhap)

About the author

HaB Korea 해브코리아 We are tourism people, we are going to make you happy in Korea! It's your trip, HaB it your way.
Subscribe to Magazine HaB Korea via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our online Magazine HaB Korea and receive updates on the latest articles, events and special offers!

Thank you for subscribing. Please check your email and confirm your subscription.

Something went wrong.

Send this to a friend