The South Korean city of Daegu, a metropolitan area located in North Gyeongsang province has reported nearly 50 new cases of the novel Coronavirus in the past two days, bring the country’s total to 81. The transmissions are purported to have emerged from a congregation of the “Shincheonji Church of Jesus” within the city, with a 61 year old patient having refused testing for the space of a week despite having experienced symptoms, and proceeded to attend services with an estimated 1000 other people.
Over 166 people in the area who have been contact with the woman have now imposed themselves in self-quarantine, but the extent of the transmission remains to be seen, which has provoked panic and concern in South Korean society with “Daegu blockade” having trended on South Korean twitter yesterday. Major events have been cancelled and many public facilities, including Kindergartens have been closed. Authorities however, have reportedly ruled out a “Wuhan style” transport blockade as was seen in neighbouring China.
The city nonetheless becomes the first area outside of China to experience a local “community outbreak” of the Coronavirus where cases are transmitted widespread from person to person, excluding the Diamond Princess Cruise ship which was quarantined in Yokohoma.