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As COVID-19 Cases Pile Up In South Korea, It Blames Religious Sect Leader For Sudden Spike

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Indiatimes
IndiatimesUpdated on Aug 16, 2020, 16:04 IST

South Korea accused the leader of a religious sect of violating self-isolation rules and obstructing investigations into the nation's biggest outbreak of COVID-19 in five months, as per a Reuters report.?

South Korea reported 279 fresh cases on Sunday, much more than the 103 reported on Friday.?

South Kores Reuters

Seoul saw a record 146 new cases, out of which 107 were linked to Sarang Jeil Church led by Rev. Jun Kwang-hoon, a controversial pastor and an outspoken government critic.?

The health ministry said it will file a complaint against Jun, accusing him of violating self-isolation rules by participating in a rally on Saturday and “obstructing” epidemiological investigation by failing to submit a full list of church members for testing and tracing.?

Korea Reuters (Representational)

Thousands of demonstrators took to the street on the Aug 15 - liberation day - protesting against President Moon Jae-in’s policies and defying a ban on rallies in the capital.?

The surge in COVID-19 cases prompted authorities on Sunday to reimpose tighter social distancing curbs, and President Moon warned of “stern and strong measures” against “some churches”, calling their behaviour an “unforgivable act that threatens public lives.”?

COVID Reuters

Jun’s church did not respond to telephone calls from Reuters seeking comment.?

Another Christian sect, Shincheonji Church of Jesus, was at the centre of the country’s largest outbreak of COVID-19 infections in February. The secretive group was linked to 36% of South Korea’s total cases, and on August 1, South Korean authorities arrested its founder, Lee Man-hee, for allegedly hiding crucial information from contact-tracers.?

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