The 'virus spreading' path of a Korean super-infected patient 3The 'virus spreading' path of a Korean super-infected patient 3

Former followers of Shincheonji said they went to church even when they were sick.

`We were taught not to be afraid of illness, nor to care about worldly things like work, ambition or passion. Everything was focused on evangelism, even when we were sick

Tan Thien Dia is now the focus of attention, after dozens of nCoV infections related to the sect’s church in Daegu, Korea’s fourth largest city with a population of 2.5 million people, appeared.

Medical staff disinfect in front of the church of the Shincheonji sect in Daegu, South Korea on February 19.

Patient 31 on February 7 came to be examined at Saeronan Hospital in Suseong District, Daegu due to a minor traffic accident, but later left because of insignificant injuries.

By February 10, she had a fever and began taking antibiotics to treat pneumonia on February 14.

On February 16, the woman continued to go to church to attend Sunday mass.

Doctors at least twice asked the woman to be transferred to a larger hospital for nCoV testing, but she refused, emphasizing that she had not been to China in recent months, nor had she met anyone infected with the virus.

However, the woman finally agreed to be tested for nCoV at a government-run clinic on February 17, after her symptoms became more severe.

`For those familiar with Shincheonji, her behavior is not surprising,` said Chung Yun-seok, an expert on cults and operator of the Christian Portal News website.

Within two weeks before confirming nCoV infection, Patient 31 took a taxi at least 5 times and still went to work.

Cheongdo is the hometown of Lee Man-hee, who claimed to be a prophet of God and founded Shincheonji in 1984. Followers of the sect regularly go on pilgrimages and do volunteer work in Cheongdo.

However, South Korea’s Newsis news agency quoted Patient 31 as saying she did not go to the hospital in Cheongdo, nor attend the funeral, but used a public bathroom when she arrived in this district.

Patient 31’s husband and two children are self-isolating, while health officials have disinfected and temporarily closed the places she visited in the two weeks before confirming positive for nCoV.

Officials are also trying to find out where Patient 31 contracted nCoV.

KCDC Director Jung Eun-kyeong said the government is investigating information that Tan Thien Dia used to operate in Hubei province, central China.

South Korea today recorded 142 more people infected with nCoV, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country to 346. Cheongdo district and Daegu city are currently placed under `special management` by the government because they account for the majority of the cases.

As of yesterday, 128/153 cases in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province were confirmed to have a connection to Shincheonji’s church.

`Unlike other sects, Tan Thien Dia forces believers to sit close together on the floor during rituals, in a clear order. We are asked not to wear anything on our faces, such as glasses or masks.

However, on February 21, Tan Thien Dia rejected criticism of their activities, calling it `slander based on stereotypes about churches`, and explained that believers must sit close together on the altar.

After the case of Patient 31 attracted attention, Shincheonji followers received messages asking them to continue evangelizing in small groups, adding that if questioned by officials, they should deny joining the sect or

Officials said that as of February 21, they still could not contact more than 340 followers of Tan Thien Dia.

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By Grayson

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