South Korea Now Has Nearly As Many COVID-19 Cases as S’pore Due to a Church Cluster, Too

Unlike me, the Covid-19 virus seems to like small, crowded places.

As you know, Singapore now has 84 confirmed Covid-19 cases, after MOH confirmed 3 new cases yesterday. 

Out of the five main clusters in Singapore, two of them are churches: The Life Church and Mission Singapore Church and Grace Assembly of God in Tanglin and Bukit Batok.

One of the new confirmed cases yesterday is linked to the Life Church and Mission Singapore Church cluster, which now has 4 cases, while another new case is linked to the Grace Assembly of God Church cluster, which has a total of 22 cases now.

22 sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? Well, South Korea just confirmed 39 cases in one church cluster of their own in just two days.

South Korea Now Has Nearly As Many COVID-19 Cases as S’pore Due to a Church Cluster, Too

On Tuesday (18 Feb), South Korea had only confirmed 31 infections, while Singapore had 81 confirmed cases at the time.

But just two days later, South Korea has 82 confirmed cases, just two less than Singapore’s 84.

How is this possible?

This is largely due to a cluster of Covid-19 infections centred on a church in the South Korean city of Daegu.

According to CNA, 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.

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.

In total, the cluster has 39 confirmed cases.

Woman Refused to be Tested

The 61-year-old 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.

Due to this outbreak, authorities have warned of possible further cases and asked Daegu citizens to stay indoors.

Church has 1,001 members

39 might sound like a large number, but you should know that there are 1,001 Shincheonji members in the city, all of whom had been asked to self-quarantine, with 90 of them currently showing symptoms.

Daegu mayor Kwon Young-jin said those who have symptoms “will be tested as soon as possible”. He also asked for stronger action from the government in Seoul, calling the national response “inadequate”.

Shincheonji has closed down all its facilities nationwide.

In a statement, the church said, “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”.

As you know, the deadly virus has claimed more than 2,000 lives in China.

In Singapore, 34 Covid-19 patients have already been discharged; 1,078 have tested negative for the disease, while 29 are still pending results at the time of writing.

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