South Korea says it now has 204 cases of COVID-19 coronavirus, quadruple the number reported two days ago and sparking fears about greater transmission outside China.
The country’s centres for disease control and prevention (KCDC) said that at least 46 cases of COVID-19 were linked to a religious organisation primarily in Daegu, South Korea’s fourth-largest city.
The Shincheonji church closed its 74 churches and affiliated institutions for quarantine. It expressed “deep regret” that many patients contracted the virus in its community.
The KCDC warned anyone “who has attended a service at Shincheonji Church or visited Cheongdo Daenam hospital in February” to “stay home and avoid unnecessary outdoor activities”.
There have now been 76,000 cases of the virus, most of which are China’s Hubei province, which is where it was first detected in December.