''Why is This Church Being Blamed for an epidemic?'' Raphael Rashid [Opinion : March 10], which describes the Shincheonji] Church of Jesus as being scapegoated in South Korea for political purposes, is misleading.

From an early stage, the Korean government has set key principles to combat Covid-19 : Be Quick, Transparent and Pre-emptive.

Unlike other countries where only patients showing symptoms have been tested, we chose to test everyone who has been in close contact with confirmed cases. Rather than waiting for patients to come in, we pursued and tracked down possible patients prevent spread within the community.

During this process, our health authorities found a rapid community transmission taking place among members of the Shincheonji Church. This is a result of exhaustive epidemic logical analysis and has nothing to do with prejudice or politics.

OUR transparent catchall approach, supported by our outstanding diagnostic capacity, has paradoxically flagged Korea as one of the most affected countries.

As of March 11, Korea 7,755 confirmed cases of Covid-19. But that is the result of having tested  214, 640 cases. It is also the main factor behind our low mortality rate of  0.77 percent, which is far below the 3.4 percent global average.

The number of daily additional confirmed cases has been decreasing in Korea since early March, as the tracking and testing of the church members has largely been completed, and we are geared up to contain other spikes.

The Korean government is confident that our approach, characterized by full transparency, pre-emption and prevention, is working.

While we continue to fight for the life and health of Korean people, we hope that the ''Korea Model''  could inform others in our shared battle against Covid-19.

The World Students Society wishes to acknowledge with thanks. It has learnt from writer and author Mr. Seo Eun-Young, director of foreign press relations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea.


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