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Residents wearing masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus line up for COVID-19 test outside the Worker's Stadium in Beijing on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Test sites have sprung up through the Chinese capital as test have become a daily normal after the latest outbreak of the coronavirus, (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea is considering including religious facilities on the same list with nightclubs, hostess bars and karaoke rooms as “high risk” venues for the spread of COVID-19 following a slew of transmissions tied to church gatherings.

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said during a virus meeting on Wednesday that more than 40% of the country’s newly confirmed infections over the previous three days have been traced back to places of worship.

He pleaded people to refrain from religious gatherings and criticized churches and other facilities for failing to implement proper preventive measures, such as requiring followers to wear masks and sit apart during services.

“If religious facilities continue to be an environment for infections by failing to implement anti-virus measures, it will be inevitable for the government to designate (them) as high-risk facilities and enforce strong restrictions,” Chung said.

High-risk facilities are advised to close or otherwise must enforce anti-virus measures, including distancing, temperature checks, keeping customer lists and requiring employees and visitors to wear masks. They are also required to register visitors with smartphone QR codes so they could be easily located when needed.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Experts say the pandemic is wreaking havoc in poor and war-torn nations.