outh Korea is now having its own coronavirus outbreak with 53 new cases being confirmed on Thursday, mostly in the city of Daegu.
Thursday’s number of infections was more than the country’s total to that point after 20 cases had also been reported the day before. The tally now stands at 104.
51 of the new patients are residents of Daegu, a city of 2.5 million located about 300 km southeast of Seoul, and its surrounding North Gyeongsang province, where a “super-spreader” is believed to have transmitted the virus to others in the Shincheonji religious cult.
Shincheonji followers are taught to believe that the movement’s founder, Lee Man-hee, is the second coming of Jesus Christ and is the only one able to interpret the Bible’s metaphors. When the Day of Judgment comes, Lee will take 144,000 people with him to Heaven.
Authorities have linked a 61-year-old woman with the virus who worships at Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu with 37 other members of the church who attended the same services and have been confirmed as infected.
Daegu’s mayor has declared that his city is now facing an “unprecedented crisis,” ordering the shutting down of all kindergartens and public libraries.
In the wake of the news of the outbreak, the city has turned into a ghost town with residents being told to stay indoors.
현재 대구 동성로 상황 pic.twitter.com/oY8ZKooYIc
— 인엔 (@IEofgroup) February 20, 2020
Meanwhile, the country also reported its first Covid-19 death on Wednesday, the ninth death from the outbreak outside of mainland China.