More than 78,000 people around the world have been infected by the Covid-19 virus, with most cases in mainland China.
South Korea says the number of new coronavirus cases in the country has more than doubled in one day. South Korea has now reported the largest number of confirmed infections after China. In a televised address, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun described the situation as "grave". In his national address, the Prime Minister asked South Koreans to avoid large gatherings, including religious events. Thousands of members of a secretive religious sect in South Korea are being screened for the new coronavirus in the South Korean city of Daegu, where most of the country’s cases have been concentrated. About 230 cases in South Korea have been linked to the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Its leadership has shared the names of people who attended its services with the authorities, and about 1,000 are being assigned a government worker to monitor for any symptoms. The church has a total of 230,000 members in the country.
The exact source of these infections remains unclear.The city’s 2.5 million people have been advised to stay in their homes if possible. “Although the total number of Covid-19 cases outside China remains relatively small, we are concerned about the number of cases with no clear epidemiological link,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, said. A Samsung plant in Gumi, near Daegu, that employs hundreds of people, has also been closed after a worker tested positive.