The Korean Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed that two members of Korean religious sect Shincheonji – which is at the heart of the outbreak in South Korea – had visited the virus epicenter of Wuhan, says One of them came down with the coronavirus as a result.
More than half of all infections in South Korea involve members of the fringe Christian group. It is not clear when the visit took place.
All 230,000 members of the church have been interviewed. Nearly 9,000 said they were showing symptoms.
The sect’s leader, Lee Man-hee, has apologized for the outbreak – saying it was “not intentional”. Health officials say they have tested the majority of sect members in Daegu, and that 62% tested positive for the virus.
Outside of Daegu, 4,066 members of the sect have told officials they are showing symptoms.
Meanwhile, South Korea air carriers are suspending services to Italian cities. Korean Air has cancelled all flights to Rome until 25 April and Asiana will halt its services to Rome until 28 March.
They will also suspend Milan routes. Korean Air will suspend Milan flights until 25 April and Asiana until 15 April.
Some cherry blossom festivals to celebrate the arrival of Spring are also being cancelled. The Jinhae Gunhangje Festival – which was due to take place on 27 March – has been cancelled for the first time in its 58-year history.