Amid the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun has urged South Koreans to refrain from attending religious services for the time being.
In a televised statement to the nation on Saturday, the prime minister said that the nation should and can overcome the outbreak, calling the latest epidemic outbreak a "grave situation."
Chung urged the public to refrain from religious services in crowded indoor places, asking the public to devise online and other ways to carry out religious activities.
Chung said that the nation's medical system is at the world's best level and the country has accumulated experiences of fighting contagious diseases.
The prime minister urged people to trust the government and medical experts and cooperate with the country's efforts to ride out the outbreak, warning against excessive fears and anxiety.
He also asked people to pay extra attention to personal hygiene and avoid crowded places.
The prime minister warned that that the government will sternly deal with acts that interfere with quarantine efforts and illegal hoarding of medical goods.
The public message came as South Korea reported over 200 additional cases of COVID-19 on Saturday alone, bringing the total of infections in the country to 433.