Surge in COVID Cases Looms Amid Vaccination Delays

  • By Lee Joon-woo

    April 05, 2021 13:12

    Another surge in coronavirus infections looms as delay after delay hits Korea's vaccination efforts.

    According to health authorities, the daily number of new infections stood at 473 on Monday morning, dropping below 500 for the first time since March 30.

    Minister of Health and Welfare Kwon Deok-cheol in a statement on Sunday warned, "We're at a crossroads where a fourth wave of infections could start" and the daily number of infections "could reach 1,000 any time."

    People line up outside a church in Seoul on Easter Sunday. /Yonhap

    Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun warned the government could extend lockdown again despite widespread fatigue and growing doubts whether tougher social distancing makes much difference.

    Critics sense a determination on the part of the government to make Koreans suffer for its own incompetence in securing enough vaccines.

    So far a mere 1.86 percent of Koreans have been vaccinated as supplies are held up or have not been secured in the first place.

    Prof. Jung Jae-hun of Gachon University's Gil Medical Center said, "The vaccination rate should reach at least 20 percent to help prevent the spread of infections, and at this rate that won't happen till June."

    Yoo Jin-hong, the president of the Korean Society for Infectious Diseases, advised people to stay alert.

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