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Three-fourths of religious sect-linked patients showed no symptoms: report

All News 09:52 April 07, 2020

DAEGU, April 7 (Yonhap) -- About 76 percent of coronavirus patients linked to a religious sect, the biggest cluster outbreak in South Korea, showed no symptoms, a report showed Tuesday, renewing concerns that people can spread the virus without knowing they are infected.

A total of 10,459 followers and trainees of the Shincheonji religious sect in Daegu have been tested so far, and 4,258 of them tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the report by Daegu city.

Of the 4,258 patients, 75.7 percent, or 3,222 patients, tested positive for COVID-19 without immediate symptoms, the report said.

It is the first time that details of the coronavirus outbreak in Shincheonji were released.

The Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, is shuttered on March 10, 2020. (Yonhap)

The number of asymptomatic cases in the Shincheonji outbreak is much higher than that in other cluster outbreaks in the country.

On Monday, an epidemiological investigation by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) found that about 33 percent of virus patients in clusters of infections showed no symptoms.

A total of 39 people linked to the main building of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries in the central city of Sejong tested positive for the virus between March 10 and 24, with 13 of them showing no symptoms at the time of detection, the investigation showed.

South Korea's coronavirus caseload stood at 10,284 as of Monday, with the virus claiming 186 lives. About 6,600 coronavirus patients have recovered.


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