Coronavirus church fears: One woman infects at least 40 churchgoers with deadly disease

The woman, infected with the coronavirus, is thought to have passed the illness after attending church in the city of Daegu. South Korea has reported a further 22 new cases of coronavirus, which has raised the country’s total number of infected to 104. Out of this number, 16 have recovered and one has been reported to have died.

The Korea Centre for Disease and Control have warned 166 people to quarantine themselves, as the unnamed woman had direct contact with them.

It is feared, however, the outbreak could worsen as the Shincheonji Church of Jesus had at least 1,000 attendees at the same time as the woman.

The church has subsequently been closed by South Korean authorities.

The woman also used public transport to travel around the city.

23 confirmed infections have been linked earlier in the week to a 61-year-old woman who was diagnosed with the illness on Monday.

It remains unclear as to how the woman contracted the virus.

Authorities have said she did not travel abroad in recent months, and there was no report of her coming into contact with someone carrying the deadly coronavirus.

She initially refused to be tested but was confirmed as a carrier on February 17.

One person at the hospital who came into contact with her has also been infected.

Local media has reported a growing sense of “panic” in the wake of the virus spreading.

One resident said: “The streets are so quiet.

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“It is the first time I have ever seen Daegu this quiet.”

Daegu is the country’s fourth-largest city and is home to approximately 2.4 million people.

Combined with the nearest province, North Gyeongsang, the population is 5 million.

The government, however, have refuted rumours spreading of a lockdown similar to that of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus.

Nonetheless, precautionary measures are being taken to ensure the virus is stopped.

Schools and nurseries have been suspended, as well as local libraries.

And a concert featuring K-pop stars, BTS, set for March 8 at Daegu Stadium has also been called off.

The Mayor of Daegu, Kwon Young-jin has stressed the need for alternative methods to combat the spread of the deadly disease.

He has asked for government support, including quarantine facilities, to tackle the spread.

Mayor Young-jin also urged the public to wear masks and remain inside where possible.

The Korean Government has recently announced it will be providing 2.5 billion won (£1.6 billion) in funds to strengthen safety measures in Daegu and North Gyeongsang.

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