Worshippers at Sarang Church in Seoul on Sunday
New clusters of coronavirus infections have begun emerging at churches in the capital region in recent days as religious services resumed last month amid a slowdown in confirmed cases.
Earlier in the day, Yoon Tae-ho, a senior health ministry official, told reporters that 24 of the 35 latest infections came from small gatherings of people tied to religious groups.
Yoon noted that these gatherings are usually held in small enclosed spaces, increasing the possibility of the virus spreading even further.
He urged against these kinds of meetings for the time being.
This afternoon, Jung Eun-kyeong, the head of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reiterated Yoon’s call, saying church-goers should not hold bible studies, prayer meetings and retreats until the risk of community spread decreases.
She made the request while noting that one church member has died from the virus while another is in critical condition.
In response to the infections linked to the churches, the city of Incheon has issued an order that places restrictions on gatherings at over 4,200 religious facilities.
They will only be allowed to operate if they follow quarantine guidelines set out by the central government.
<Photo: Yonhap News>
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