SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in held out hope for overcoming the new coronavirus with a "single mind" in his Easter message Sunday, amid concerns the major Christian holiday could hamper the fight against the pandemic.
"Although there are still many challenges ahead of us, and we cannot relax our containment efforts until the last patient fully recovers, we will definitely overcome this with a single mind and stand back up again," Moon tweeted.
"Like the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we should make a new hope to return to a new normalcy," he added.
Easter celebrations came amid concerns the country's weekslong social distancing efforts that have led to a significant drop in new COVID-19 cases over the past week may weaken.
In line with government appeals against mass gatherings, many churches carried out their services online.
In the Easter message, Moon enumerated South Korea's historical experiences of turning difficulties into hope, likening them to Jesus' "transformation of an ordeal into hope through his resurrection."
"Korea has turned the colonial status into liberation, dictatorship into democracy and abject poverty into economic growth," he said. "I am proud of our citizens who keep people and the preciousness of freedom through their sacrifices and dedications, big or small."
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun renewed his calls for church members to avoid large gatherings, reminding citizens of the potential risks of cluster COVID-19 outbreaks.
On Sunday, South Korea reported 32 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total infections to 10,512 with 214 deaths.
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