The Republic of South Korea on Wednesday reported 3,187 new cases of covid-19, almost matching a one-day record set in September. The jump in Covid-19 in a country has become worrisome because social distancing rules were reduced in recent weeks to lessen the pandemic’s impact on the countries economy.
South Korea’s Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported more than 2,550 of the new covid-19 cases came from the greater Seoul area. The country’s death toll is now 3,137 after 21 deaths from the Delta Variant of covid-19 were reported on Wednesday. South Korea has gone sixteen consecutive days in double-digit fatalities. Including a record 32 covid-19 deaths on Saturday.
The delta-variant spread has raised questions about whether the South Korean government was too quick to ease pandemic restrictions at the start of November. The easing of covid-19 restrictions was the government’s first step toward restoring some sort of pre-pandemic normalcy.
Booster shots in South Korea
The government allowed larger social gatherings and expanded indoor dining hours at restaurants. Government officials had hoped that the country’s improving vaccination rates would ease hospitalizations and keep deaths down even if the delta variant continues to spread.
Unfortunately, there has been a rise in serious covid-19 cases and fatalities among seniors who rejected vaccines. Also elderly people in long-term care facilities settings whose immunities have waned because they were inoculated early in the vaccine rollout, which began in late February.
Officials in South Korea are now pushing to speed up the administration of covid-19 booster shots for people who are were vaccinated more than six months ago. Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum, said during a virus meeting Wednesday that vaccine intervals will be reduced to four months for people who are in their 60s or older, and for patients in nursing homes or long-term care hospitals.
People in their 50s will be eligible for booster shots after five months, he said.