KEY POINTS

  • Another church in South Korea exposed its members to COVID-19
  • A follower, who later tested positive, participated in the spraying of salt-water
  • Others soon followed, leading to the spread of the dangerous virus between members

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new strain of coronavirus infections emerged in a church in South Korea. Members of the church were using a saltwater spray meant to stifle the spread of the virus. It just so happened that they conveniently forgot to sterilize the nozzle, according to health officials which investigated the case.

Seongnam City officials, located in Gyeonggi Province, said that 40 more members from the River of Grace Community Church had tested positive for COVID-19, Fox News. This brings the total from that church to 46 after six members, which included the church’s pastor and his wife, tested positive in the past week.

Screen grabs from the church’s CCTV have shown that they indeed used a spray to dispense saltwater into the mouth of the patient. According to further studies, one of the followers was an infected patient. They did likewise use the same sprayer for other followers without making sure that it had been disinfected, according to Lee Hee-young, the head of Gyeonggi Province’s COVID-19 task force.

The cases, which were connected to the Seongnam church, had become the second-largest cluster of infections near Seoul. Aside from an insurance call center where 129 people had been reported to have contracted the deadly disease, another church, the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, was in the headlines as among churches which were accused of spreading the virus in the country.

The leader of the religious sect, Lee Man-hee, bowed down on his knees during a press conference. BBC reported that he apologized to the people on behalf of his church, believing they were part of the spread of the deadly virus.

There are legitimate worries that the virus infections might spike once again as vacationers return from Europe and local people are resuming their church activities. Calls have been coming in from everybody but, mainly, these calls are for authorities to postpone the new school year, beginning on Mar. 23 after having been delayed two times.

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Se-kyun said that the decline in cases was a “hopeful sign.” Nevertheless, he cautioned people not to be too complacent as outbreaks are still happening in Europe and the United States.

South Korea has reported the largest number of coronavirus infections outside China, with more than 6,000 cases South Korea has reported the largest number of coronavirus infections outside China, with more than 6,000 cases Photo: YONHAP / -

Coronavirus COVID 19 South Korea Medical members wearing protective gear take samples from a driver with suspected symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at a "drive-through" virus test facility in Goyang, north of Seoul, on February 29, 2020. - South Korea reported on February 29 its biggest surge in new coronavirus cases and concerns grew of a possible epidemic in the United States as the World Health Organization raised its risk alert to its highest level. Photo: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images