(Screenshot captured from YouTube)
The founder of a religious sect at the center of a coronavirus outbreak in South Korea is not infected with the virus that has sickened more than 2,100 of his followers, the group claimed Monday.
Lee Man-hee, 88, underwent the test for COVID-19 a day earlier at an undisclosed location in Gyeonggi Province, according to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus.
The group, however, did not provide detailed information about whether Lee got tested properly. The group later said he had undergone the virus test “through private means” that were not verified by public health agencies.
Founded in 1984 by Lee, the much-veiled Christian sect has become a hotbed of domestic coronavirus transmissions, accounting for nearly 80 percent of cases reported in the hardest-hit city of Daegu.
While health authorities struggled to track down Shincheonji followers and their close contacts to curb the spread of COVID-19, the group’s leader did not make a public appearance.
But he has been sending messages to worshippers. In his latest letter, the leader proclaimed that the ongoing virus outbreak is the “great tribulation” that the Bible’s Book of Revelation predicted in the final days before the end of the world, a local newspaper reported.
By Korea Herald staff (firstname.lastname@example.org