The Korea Illness Management and Prevention Company mentioned the extremely infectious Omicron variant was driving the report wave of infections and whereas a public survey revealed many anticipated to catch the virus, few feared critical well being penalties.
Every day infections are far greater than well being authorities had predicted. On Wednesday the federal government mentioned it anticipated the wave to prime out with every day circumstances within the mid-400,000. Lower than a month in the past it had predicted the height of the wave would are available mid-March at 140,000-270,000 every day circumstances.
Regardless of the numbers, the federal government reveals no signal of rethinking plans to take away nearly all social distancing restrictions in coming days and weeks, and public opinion seems to help these strikes.
It has pushed again a curfew on eateries to 11 p.m., stopped implementing vaccine passes, and plans to drop a quarantine for vaccinated vacationers arriving from abroad.
A call on whether or not to ease additional measures, reminiscent of a present six-person restrict on personal gatherings, is anticipated as early as Friday. South Korea additionally mandates masks in all public indoor and outside areas.
Although it by no means adopted a “zero Covid” coverage and by no means imposed broad lockdowns, South Korea as soon as used aggressive monitoring, tracing, and quarantines to manage new circumstances. That has been largely ended or scaled again, although it nonetheless checks extensively.
South Korea has prevented the disaster unfolding in locations like Hong Kong, limiting deaths and critical circumstances largely by widespread vaccination, consultants have mentioned.
Almost 63 % of the nation’s 52 million residents had obtained booster photographs, with 86.6% of the inhabitants absolutely vaccinated, the KDCA mentioned.
A authorities evaluation of some 141,000 Omicron circumstances reported within the nation over the previous 12 months confirmed that there have been no deaths amongst folks underneath 60 who had obtained a booster shot, Son Younger-rae, a well being ministry official, mentioned on Wednesday, including that Covid might be handled just like the seasonal flu.
“We see this might be the final main disaster in our Covid responses, and if we overcome this disaster, it will carry us nearer to regular lives,” Son informed a briefing.
In a survey launched on Tuesday by Seoul Nationwide College’s graduate college of public well being, the variety of South Koreans who assume they’re more likely to contract the virus was the very best since its surveys started in January 2020, at round 28 %, however the variety of those that fear a couple of critical well being impression from the an infection was the bottom, at about 48 %.
“Individuals’s consciousness concerning the virus’ hazard has clearly modified,” mentioned professor Yoo Myung-soon who led the examine.
“Regardless of the Omicron variant’s a lot greater infectivity than Delta, its comparatively low fatality seems to have alleviated folks’s considerations.”