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Number of Coronavirus infections in South Korea is close to 5,000

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The total number of new cases of Coronavirus in South Korea approached 5,000 cases Tuesday, which is the largest number in the world outside China, where 477 new infections were recorded.

The Korean health authorities announced the death of two other people, which brings the number of virus victims in this Asian country to 28.

South Korea has seen a rise in the number of injuries in recent days, as authorities have examined more than 260,000 people linked to the Church of Shinchonji of Jesus, a religious sect linked to more than half of the injuries.

The Korean authorities canceled dozens of festivals, parties and sporting events due to the spread of the virus, and school holidays extended three weeks nationwide.

The central bank warned of the world’s 12th economy recording negative growth in the first quarter of the year, indicating that the spread of the virus is harmful to both export and consumption.

A 61-year-old woman from the Chenchongi Church was infected with the virus on February 10, but has since attended at least four masses in Daegu, the country’s fourth largest city with a population of about 2.5 million.

Lee Man-hee, the 88-year-old founder of the underground religious sect, apologized Monday at a televised press conference for his church’s responsibility for the outbreak, stressing that his church was cooperating with the government to contain the injuries.

Seoul city authorities filed a legal complaint against Lee and other church officials accusing them of murder and other crimes.

Of the 4,812 infections nationwide, about 90 percent were recorded in Daegu and the neighboring North Gyeongsang Province.

South Korea has so far undergone more than 125,000 people who might have contracted the virus for medical examination, as infection figures are expected to rise further.

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