Korea: Social distancing to be gradually loosened from end of October

Photo: Bloomberg

Jung Eun-kyeong, Commissioner of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) announced that 'step-by-step daily recovery' plan will gradually ease the social distancing measures depending on the risk of COVID-19, but people must 'keep mask' until the end.

KCDC is currently considering that this plan will be possible after the end of October, when the second vaccination of more than 80 per cent of adults, including the elderly, is completed.

Asked by Shin Hyun-young of the Democratic Party of Korea at a plenary session of the National Assembly's Special Committee on Budget and Accounts on the 7th, commissioner Jung answered, "We need to ease the social distancing restrictions depending on the risk of COVID-19 spreads. However, the quarantine restriction for wearing masks inside should be followed until the end, until it becomes safe."

"There are still lots of people who have not completed vaccination and countermeasure for breakthrough infections are also needed," commissioner Jung said. "Also, easing distancing restrictions should be adjusted from outdoor activities, which is safer than indoor."

In the case of multi-purpose facilities, quarantine restrictions will be gradually eased depending on the type of business.

"It is not easy to list all kinds of industries, facilities, or people's behaviours one by one," said commissioner Jung. "However, we have been responding to COVID-19 for 2 years and are well aware of the dangerous environment and behaviour. We will judge based on this accumulated knowledge."

She predicted that it is possible to start the step-by-step daily recovery from late October. This is because more than 80% of adults, including those aged 60 or older, are expected to complete the vaccination at the end of October. As of midnight on the 6th, 84.6% of people aged 60 and older completed second dose of vaccinations. 70% of the whole population will complete the first dose of vaccination before Chuseok, and among them, adults over 18 years old are about 80%. It is expected to be late October when they complete the second dose of vaccination.

"The first vaccination rate for people aged 60 and older is 91.2 per cent, so 90 per cent of them will complete the vaccination if the second vaccination is carried out as scheduled," said commissioner Jung. "If 70 per cent of the population is vaccinated before Chuseok, more than 80 per cent of adults will complete vaccination. Therefore, we are aiming to complete the vaccination for all as much as possible by the end of October."

She added, "According to the results of mathematical modeling by experts, at least 90 per cent of high-risk people including the elderly aged 60s or older and 80-85 per cent of adults must be vaccinated to reduce the severity and control the situation. Based on this, the late October can be considered (to ease restrictions).

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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