June 26, 2022

With the South Korean government’s instruction of easing restrictions for a gradual return to prepandemic life under the phased “living with COVID-19” scheme from this month, there has been a steady resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Keeping the situation in mind, Health Minister Kwon Deok-Cheol has announced that the government is positively thinking to reintroduce toughened measures to contain the virus. The announcement of the emergency COVID-19 response plan has however been postponed until Monday.

The minister’s announcement for the delay in the announcement comes as the government in its meeting on Thursday failed to come to a conclusion.

On Friday, the country reported 3,901 new COVID-19 cases. However, critical cases hit a record high of 612, up from 549 and 586 on Thursday and Wednesday respectively.

On Friday, the country added 39 COVID-related deaths, the highest daily tally so far in the few recent months, thus pushing the total death toll to 3,440.

Health Minister Kwon said during a coronavirus response meeting on Friday commented that just four weeks after they started the move toward normalcy, it is facing the biggest challenge in the fight against COVID-19.

He further added that recently, the country’s daily infections numbers have been surpassing 3,000. The capacity of hospital beds in intensive care units is being pushed to the limit with the virus spreading fast among senior citizens and sharp increases in critical cases and deaths.

Kwon reported that around 64 percent of the COVID-19 cases were breakthrough infections, and more than 85 percent of those infections were in people aged 60 or above.

The minister in response to the breakthrough infections rapidly growing among the elderly population has urged people aged 60 or above to get a booster shot.

He has also asked citizens to prevent the further spread of the virus under eased COVID protocols by strictly following the social distancing measures.

According to KDCA, a total of 42.42 million people, or 82.6 percent of the country’s population, have received their first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to date. While the number of people having fully vaccinated reached 40.76 million people or 79.4 percent.