Cronavirus covid-19 A cluster infection of COVID-19 surrounding a church is alarming authorities.August 17, 2020, 12:24 PM• 4 min readSEOUL, South Korea — A controversial South Korean pastor tested positive for COVID-19 after participating in an anti-government mass rally on Saturday that drew tens of thousands of people in calling for the ouster of South Korean President Moon Jae-in.Health authorities have warned against outdoor gatherings for fear of spreading the virus but many worshippers of the Sarang Jeil Church led by Rev. Jun Kwang-hun reportedly joined the protest.Jun and his church members have been at the center of criticism in recent months as they were known to have been worshipping in tightly packed paces and against warnings by health officials. President Moon sharply criticized the church on Sunday calling their attendance at the rally “an unpardonable act.”Health authorities have been battling with sporadic outbreaks in Seoul and its neighboring cities while the number of patients have been on the rise.In fact, South Korea just had the sharpest daily increase in five months with a total of 745 people testing positive in the last four days, bringing the total infections to 15,515, including 305 deaths, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).Social distancing rules were tightened to Level Two on Sunday which meant closing down public facilities and facilities at high risk of spreading the virus. Sporting events were also switched back to crowdless games. Additionally, kindergarten to junior high schools ready to resume classes this week were ordered to accept only one-third of students for in-class lectures while the rest would take online classes.More than 4,000 members of the church, led by pastor Jun Kwang-hun, have been ordered to self-isolate and get tested.Jun, 64, is a radical conservative activist who has also been vocal in criticizing the left-leaning liberal President Moon.Reuters contributed to this report.
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