It seems like COVID-19 has indeed been crash landing on South Korea.
Just three days ago, the whole of South Korea has only 31 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
And today, as of time of writing, the number has ballooned to a whopping 204.
What’s even more terrifying is that most of them are found in the city Daegu, the fourth-largest city after Seoul, Busan, and Incheon, and the third-largest metropolitan area in the nation with over 2.5 million residents.
And it’s now on “lockdown”.
South Korea’s Daegu Now Feared to Be the Next Wuhan As Country Reported 204 Cases
If you didn’t know, it all allegedly stemmed from a 61-year-old woman.
The woman first developed a fever on 10 Feb but reportedly twice refused to be tested for the coronavirus saying she had not recently travelled abroad, and attended at least four services before being diagnosed.
She’s a member of the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, an entity often accused of being a cult.
Shincheonji claims that its founder Lee Man-hee has donned the mantle of Jesus Christ and will take 144,000 people with him to Heaven, body, and soul, on the Day of Judgement.
And lest you think the next paragraph is a joke made by Goody Feed, it’s not: here are the text from CNA, which I really thought that they’ve changed their writing style until I realised it’s no laughing matter:
“… with more church members than available places in heaven, they (members of the Church) are said to have to compete for slots and pursue converts persistently and secretively.”
As of now, more than 120 members of Shincheonji are now infected.
And then there are also 16 infections being identified in Cheongdo county near Daegu. It turns out that there was a funeral held three weeks ago at a hospital there for the Shincheonji founder’s brother.
The President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, isn’t having any of this: he’s called for a “thorough investigation” of everyone who attended the funeral and Shincheonji services.
He added, “If you simply rely on the information provided by the church, the process can be slow…We need faster measures.”
So far, 4,475 Shincheonji members had been tested in Daegu and 544 said they had symptoms.
But how did it spread so fast?
According to former church members, members have to sit close together and sing songs with their arms around one another.
I suddenly heard Mr Moon’s sentence in my head again.
With the new development, the city’s sparing no expenses to contain the virus.
Other than President Moon’s words, a US army camp there has told its staff and family members not to travel in and around Daegu.
Many businesses were closed today, with the city being described as a “ghost town”.
South Korea has declared the city (and Cheongdo as well) as a “special management zone”.
Prime Minister Chung Se-kyun said in a televised statement, “A month into the outbreak, we have entered an emergency phase…Our efforts until now had been focused on blocking the illness from entering the country. But we will now shift the focus on preventing the illness from spreading further in local communities.”
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Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin is urging everyone to wear a mask even when they’re indoors, while Seoul is now providing more medical support to Daegu.
A resident in the city said, “With so many confirmed cases here I’m worried that Daegu will become the second Wuhan.”
Shincheonji Closed Its Facilities Nationwide
Cult or not cult, Shincheonji’s at least doing the next best thing they can do: closing all its facilities and apologising.
It said in a statement, “We are deeply sorry that because of one of our members, who thought of her condition as a cold because she had not travelled abroad, led to many in our church being infected and thereby caused concern to the local community.”
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