South Korea’s coronavirus case total – the largest in the world outside China – approached 5,000 Tuesday as authorities reported 477 new cases. Two more people had died, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, taking the toll to 28.
South Korea has seen a rapid rise in infections as authorities carry out checks on more than 260,000 associated with the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a religious group condemned as a cult that is linked to more than half the cases.
A 61-year-old female church member developed a fever on February 10 but attended at least four services in Daegu – the country’s fourth-largest city with a population of 2.5 million and the center of the outbreak – before being diagnosed.
Scores of events — from K-pop concerts to sports seasons — have been canceled or postponed over the contagion, with school and kindergarten breaks extended by three weeks nationwide.