The number of virus cases surged by 1,200 in South Korea amid slow vaccination

Seoul, South Korea (AP) — South Korea sees an invisible coronavirus outbreak since its worst outbreak last winter, as most people fell into another surge while not yet vaccinated. I am.

The 1,212 new cases confirmed by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Wednesday were in close agreement with the largest daily increase in pandemics — 1,240 cases reported on Christmas Day.

Health experts say the government has sent the wrong message to the public by promoting premature mitigation of social distances, despite the steadily increasing number of cases.

At the virus conference, Prime Minister Kim Bu-gyeom said authorities would consider stricter social distance rules if the infection continues to spread over the next few days.

“This is an emergency where we need to invest all our capabilities to respond to COVID-19,” he said, begging for public vigilance.

The government has raised the personal social gathering limit from four to six, extending indoor dining in restaurants by two hours until midnight, preventing vaccinated people from wearing masks outdoors this month. I was planning to do it. However, officials in Seoul and the surrounding area have postponed the new rules due to increased infections.

Most of the new cases came from the Seoul metropolitan area, where half of the country’s 51 million people live, but infections also occur in other major cities and regions, such as Busan, Daejeon, Daegu, and resort islands in southern Jeju Island. was doing. There is concern that the virus may spread further as the number of summer vacation trips increases.

After adding about 5,800 cases this month alone, the number of cases in the country is now 162,753. The death toll is 2,033.

National vaccination campaigns have not yet accelerated, with only 30% of the population receiving initial vaccinations as of Wednesday. About 10% of the population receives a second dose.

The country has traditionally injected hospitals, essential workers, people in long-term care facilities, the military, and adults in their 60s and older, but due to inconsistent supplies, the majority of young adults are vaccinated. Is not …

South Korea will receive 700,000 Pfizer shots from Israel on Wednesday in exchange for future shipments of vaccines to Israel from September to November, which authorities hope to alleviate South Korea’s shortage.

Jeong Eun-Ke, director of KDCA, said the dose would go to Seoul, the capital of the virus, and nearby Gyeonggi Province. She said she hoped the shot would help authorities speed up vaccination of nursery school, nursery teachers, kindergarten and primary school teachers scheduled to begin this month.

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