Church hit by COVID-19 says members to give plasma for research

By Kim Young-eun

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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, 2ND JULY, 2020:
Around 4,000 recovered COVID-19 patients from a religious group at the centre of South Korea’s largest outbreak will donate plasma for research an official said on Tuesday, a day after local officials filed a lawsuit against the church.

In February and March, a massive outbreak among members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus made South Korea the scene of the first large outbreak outside of China.

At least 5,213 of the country’s total 12,484 cases have been linked to the church outbreak, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Church founder Lee Man-hee had internally advised recovered members to donate their plasma, which is badly needed for coronavirus research, Shincheonji media
coordinator Kim Young-eun told Reuters on Tuesday.

Many of recovered church members wanted to donate to express thanks to the
government and medical staff, she said.

The city of Daegu – where most of the church infections were centred – filed a civil lawsuit against the church on Monday, seeking 100 billion won ($82.75 million) in damages.

Daegu authorities had previously filed a complaint against the church accusing it of not submitting a full list of members and facilities, and not cooperating with city health efforts.

Shincheonji says it fully complied with government efforts.

The National Institute of Health said 185 people have so far come forward to donate plasma as of Monday and said they were in talks with Shincheonji for donations.

South Korea health officials have said that in the absence of other treatments or vaccines, plasma therapy may be a way to lower the death rate, especially in critical patients.

At least 17 South Koreans have received the experimental therapy, which involves using plasma from recovered patients with antibodies to the virus, enabling the body
to defend against the disease.

South Korea has reported more than 281 deaths from COVID-19.

Kim Young-eun
Shincheonji Media Coordinator
Seoul, South Korea.

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3 thoughts on “Church hit by COVID-19 says members to give plasma for research

  1. I lived in Korea for a while and no church is more persecuted than this one. It’s insane how poorly they are treated. Especially when they do something remarkable like this and they’re still criticized.

  2. I agree with the comment before. The persecution against Shincheonji is really quite unfathomable in South Korea. This is amazing news that the recovered church members are willing to donate their plasma for research. Hopefully this will greatly propel the medical work that is being conducted in search for a cure for COVID19.

  3. It must have been so difficult for those who suffered from virus and persecution, but it’s amazing that they still want to help the society by donating plasma. Awesome!

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