120 new cases have been confirmed daily in the Seoul metropolitan area as churches are at the center of massive outbreaks.
There were 120 people confirmed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID19) in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province. This is the greatest surge in the number of infected patients in weeks. It is also the first time that the number of infected in the Seoul metropolitan area reached the three-digit mark.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government stated on August 14th KST, that there have been fifty-eight patients newly confirmed with the coronavirus from 12 AM to 6 PM. A cluster of infections had occurred within less than 24 hours. Prior to these infections, there have been already 62 confirmed cases. The Gyeonggi Province had shut down a church and placed a ban on mass gathering when the number of infected patients quickly increased from Woori First Church located in Yongin.
The massive outbreaks in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province are largely due to infections occurring in churches. In Seoul, the number of infected people has been increasing rapidly following the first confirmed case at Sarang First Church in Seongbuk on August 12th. Eighteen more people were infected with the COVID19 on August 14th, following eleven infections on the 13th. There have been a total of thirty confirmed cases involving Sarang First Church. The church belongs to Jeon Kwang Hoon, the president of the Christian Council of Korea.
The director of the Seoul Metropolitan Government's civic health bureau stated, "There has been a rise in the number of patients after the gathering which took place on the 9th. I believe the massive infections occurred from that mass gathering. It was raining on August 9th and the church members had to go indoors for the church worship, which initially took place outside. It was confirmed that social distancing was not kept and some were not wearing masks. Currently, there is a high number of infected among the church members." Currently, the quarantine authorities have shut down the church on August 13th and are conducting COVID19 testing on 1,897 people.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has ordered a ban on massive gathering for a church event that is scheduled from August 16th to the 17th. This event is being held by the Sarang First Church and a massive number of church members are expected to attend. The church has hinted the weekend event will still be held despite the Seoul Metropolitan Government's order to ban the gathering.
Many Korean netizens are angered as the nation's efforts to contain the virus are being wasted in vain due to this massive infection occurring due to church gatherings.
"Can't they pray at home? Why do they have to go to church?"
"They are causing everyone to be affected because they want to go to church."
"This is unforgivable. They are wasting our efforts to contain the virus."
"I think these church gatherings need to pay for the coronavirus treatments if the members get infected from the churches."
"I don't know why these churches are the ones that keep causing massive infections. Do they not learn?"
"Why can't the country shut down all churches?"
"These church people really don't listen do they?"
"Would God really be that mad if they stop worship at churches for a while?"