SEOUL: South Korea reported 52 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday (Feb 21), taking the national total to 156, with the majority in Daegu, the country’s fourth-largest city.
Altogether 39 of the new cases were linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southern city of Daegu, the Korean Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said.
More than 80 members of Shincheonji have now been infected, starting with a 61-year-old woman who developed a fever on Feb 10 but attended at least four church services before being diagnosed.
Of the national tally, 111 patients are from Daegu or nearby.
The mayor of Daegu – which has a population of over 2.5 million – has advised residents to stay indoors, and commanders at a major US base in the area restricted access.
Residents wore masks to go about their daily activities on Friday.
As of Friday more than 400 members of the church are showing symptoms of the disease, though tests were still ongoing, Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin said at a briefing.