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Shincheonji founder tests negative for coronavirus

All News 10:52 March 02, 2020

SEOUL, March 2 (Yonhap) -- The founder of a minor religious sect at the center of a rapid increase in coronavirus cases in South Korea has tested negative for the disease, the group said Monday.

Lee Man-hee, founder and leader of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, who underwent the test on Saturday, is COVID-19 negative, according to the church.

But the church did not elaborate on where and how Lee received the examination, while Lee has been in self-quarantine at his home in Gyeonggi Province, near Seoul.

The sect has been blamed for the recent hike in the number of coronavirus patients in South Korea.

South Korea reported a total of 4,212 confirmed cases as of Monday with 22 deaths.

The health authorities believe nearly 60 percent of the country's virus cases are linked to Shincheonji.

This photo captured from the website of Shincheonji Church of Jesus shows the religious sect's founder, Lee Man-hee. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

brk@yna.co.kr
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