- South Korea just confirmed the total number of coronavirus patients to be 1,261.
- Thousands of people that attended two churches who had priests confirmed with the virus are now being diagnosed.
- A study suggests coronavirus cases in South Korea could well surpass 10,000.
South Korea just announced 115 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, taking the total tally to a 1,261. As the epidemic widely spreads, JPMorgan analyst JJ Park said that the number could well surpass 10,000.
Why is coronavirus spreading so fast in South Korea?
The government of South Korea has described the recent epidemic of coronavirus that started in the metropolitan city of Daegu as “super contagion.”
It started from one person who attended the now famous “Shincheonji” cult church in the city, and it spread to hundreds of people within a matter of days. Less than a week has passed and more than 1,000 individuals are now confirmed to have coronavirus.
The critical catalyst behind the coronavirus epidemic of South Korea, specifically Daegu, was the inability of the mayor’s office to identify the list of names that attended the cult church on the day the 31st coronavirus-infected individual visited the venue.
It wasn’t until February 25 that Lee Jae-myung, the governor of the Gyeong-gi Province, raided the headquarters of the cult church to forcefully obtain the list of tens of thousands of members of the church.
The mayor of Daegu was heavily criticized for his lack of action when the epidemic first broke out and the inability to deal with the cult church in the matter governor Lee did this week.
Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), a top television network and news agency in South Korea, reported a controversy involving the cult church and the mayor of the city.
One of the directors at a major medical center in Daegu admitted he is a member of the cult church. Reports suggest that the mayor tried to hide the fact, causing outrage in South Korea.
Like Wuhan, Daegu missed the golden time of containment due to the incapability the local government to deal with the epidemic.
Can it surpass 10,000?
Based on the infection rate in Daegu, a lead analyst JPMorgan’s insurance arm wrote in a paper that the total number of coronavirus cases in South Korea can surge past 10,000 in the near-term.
Two churches alone are evaluating if around 4,000 individuals that were present when a priest within the vicinity was confirmed with coronavirus have been infected by it.
With the total number of people from the Shincheonji cult church affected by coronavirus still unclear, there is a strong possibility that South Korea sees a significant spike in cases over the next two weeks.
Other major cities in the likes of Gunsan, Gwangmyeong, and Namyang have seen new confirmed cases of coronavirus in the past 48 hours.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.