(NEW YORK POST) – Dozens of worshipers at a South Korean church were infected with the coronavirus after a contaminated bottle was used to spray saltwater into their mouths in the belief it would help prevent the spread of the deadly bug, according to a report.
A church official at the River of Grace Community Church in Gyeonggi Province, south of Seoul, inserted the spray bottle into the mouths of the congregants – including the pastor and his wife – during prayers attended by dozens of followers early this month, according to the South China Morning Post.
“It’s been confirmed that they put the nozzle of the spray bottle inside the mouth of a follower who was later confirmed as a patient, before they did likewise for other followers as well, without disinfecting the sprayer,” local coronavirus task force chief Lee Hee-young said, according to the news site.
“This made it inevitable for the virus to spread,” he said. “They did so out of the false belief that saltwater kills the virus.”
The place of worship was eventually closed and all those who attended the prayer services were being tested for COVID-19.
On Monday, South Korea confirmed 74 new cases, bringing its total to 8,236, but the number of people released from care after making a full recovery has been surpassing the number of new infections.
“It is still too early to relax,” Prime Minister Chung Sye Kyun said. “The government will concentrate its efforts on preventing cluster infections.”