Shincheonji Church in South Korea expects 4,000 convalescent plasma donations in drives over three weeks in November
DAEGU, KOREA, November 04, 2020 /Neptune100/ — Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a religious group founded in South Korea, has shown their support of eradicating COVID-19 by donating record-breaking amounts of convalescent plasma. In a briefing held in the afternoon of November 3rd, Kwon Joon-wook, the deputy head of the Korean Central Defense Countermeasure Headquarters, stated that a total of 2,030 Shincheonji members donated convalescent plasma. The Korean Red Cross expects a total of 4,000 Shincheonji members will participate through more drives. For three weeks following November 16th, more plasma donation drives will be conducted by the Korean Red Cross in cooperation with Daegu Metropolitan City. Kwon added, “I would like to thank Shincheonji for actively participating in the donation of plasma, and I am deeply grateful for the cooperation between the Korean Red Cross and Daegu city.”
This large donation comes after a previous record-breaking plasma drive conducted in August and September, which garnered 1,646 donations from Shincheonji members, mostly from members of a church location in Daegu.
Between mid-February and early April, Shincheonji experienced a large number of positive COVID-19 cases among its Daegu location members after an asymptomatic and unknowing virus carrier attended a worship service. Despite immediately suspending all in-person activities, approximately 5,000 members became infected. Members who have recovered from COVID-19 have volunteered to donate their plasma in hopes of helping develop a cure or vaccine. Korean sources state that those who are qualified to donate must be between the age of 17 and 70 and they must have recovered from the virus no less than three months prior.
Convalescent plasma from these drives has treated 47 patients at 8 medical institutions so far.