South Korean authorities arrested the founder of a secretive Christian sect on August 1 for allegedly hiding crucial information from contact-tracers and other offences. He was arrested at the centre of the country's largest outbreak of coronavirus infections. According to reports, Lee Man-hee is the powerful head of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus which is linked to more than 5,200 coronavirus infections, which is 36% of South Korea’s total cases. He has described the novel coronavirus as the “devils deed” to stop the sect's growth.
According to reports, the prosecutors allege Lee Man-hee of conspiring with other sect leaders to hide the information from authorities. This was done during the peak of the outbreak. Reports suggest that he allegedly hid details on members as well as their meeting places when authorities tried to trace infection in the month of February.
Mr Lee said that the sect was concerned about the government’s demands for member’s personal information. He completely denied hiding anything from the authorities. The court in Suwon District, which is in the Southern part of Seoul, issued a warrant against him. He was immediately arrested after that. Currently, the prosecutors in the central city of Suwaon have been questioning 88-year-old Lee Man-hee and chairman of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, over charges against them.
According to reports, the total number of Coronavirus cases in South Korea have reached 14,336, out of which 13,223 are recovered. 301 fatalities have been reported so far. The highest number of cases are in the city of Daegu, followed by Seoul. Health authorities used aggressive testing and quarantining program to contain the outbreak in Daegu and nearby towns by April. However, the country has seen a resurgence of the virus in the Seoul metropolitan area since late May.