Seoul government demands damages from Pastor Jun for return of pandemic: over 3 million euros

The head of the pseudo-Christian sect Sarang Jeil promoted mass gatherings for thousands of people. After the rallies, Covid positive cases grew from less than 10 to 150 per day. The "Korea model" is very effective. To date, there have been 22783 cases and 377 deaths across the country.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Today at 4 pm the Seoul city government will present a complaint and a request for damages against Pastor Jun Kwang-hoon, who with his mass rallies in the city center (see photo), reignited the pandemic. The government is asking for at least 4.6 billion won (about 3.34 million euros).

Despite warnings against mass rallies, in mid-August the pastor of the pseudo-Christian sect Sarang Jeil Church planned anti-government demonstrations, which gathered thousands of people in central Seoul, contributing to the spread of the virus. Jun himself then tested positive.

In a press release, the city government explains that "even if we limit the damage to the cases reported in Seoul", we must add the difficulties produced "to the city government, transport, hospitals, the nation and health insurance". Which puts the costs incurred by around 13.1 billion won. The sum also includes 330 million won to treat 641 patients and 663 million to support people left in quarantine, due to possible contacts with the church.

The city government accuses Jun of hindering efforts to trace the cases by presenting false documents of Church members. Lawyers for the religious community reject the accusations and in turn accuse the government of being incompetent and not doing enough to contain the virus. They are also pushing for a claim for damages from China, where the virus arose.

According to the Kdca (Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, the state agency for the control and prevention of diseases), the number of positive cases per day in Seoul was under 10 in early August; after the demonstrations of 15 August, they grew to 150; 154 on August 26.

The KCDA states that there are at least 1168 cases related to the Sarang Jeil Church; 587 relating to the 15 August rally.

At present, Seoul has 46 new cases, bringing the total to 4904. Across the country - with a population of nearly 52 million - there have so far been 22783 cases and 377 deaths.

South Korea is one of the countries where the coronavirus has hit the least, thanks to the efficiency and promptness of prevention and testing measures implemented by the government. Many think that the "Korea model" is better than the "China model" based on total lockdowns.