A 61-year-old woman is believed to have infected dozens of worshippers at the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu, taking the national total to 82

The South Korean city of Daegu was facing an “unprecedented crisis” after coronavirus infections that centred on a controversial “cult” church surged to 38 cases, accounting for nearly half of the country’s total.

The city of 2.5 million people, which is two hours south of the capital Seoul, was turned into a ghost town after health officials said the bulk of country’s 31 new cases announced on Thursday were linked to a branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus.

“We are in an unprecedented crisis,” Daegu’s mayor, Kwon Young-jin, told reporters.

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