Delta Variant Infections Rise Rapidly

  • By Lee Joon-woo, Kim Sung-mo

    July 14, 2021 09:53

    Coronavirus infections reached a new high of 1,615 as of Wednesday morning led by the highly infectious Delta variant.

    Health authorities believe that some 30 percent of last week's infections were the Delta or Indian variant, which is fast becoming the dominant strain. In early June, it accounted for only 9.7 percent.

    When the Delta variant began spreading in the U.K., U.S. and other countries with high vaccination rates, some experts urged a tougher lockdown here, but the government said the strain was not a significant risk here.

    In a briefing on June 24, health authorities pointed out that Delta infections accounted for only around 10 percent of total cases. But now the situation has changed dramatically.

    People wait to get tested for coronavirus at a makeshift facility in Seoul on Tuesday. /Yonhap

    Korea currently requires only arrivals from South Africa and Tanzania to undergo 14 days of isolation in designated facilities to prevent the spread of the Beta or South African variant, which is not particularly virulent here.

    But visitors from India are only required to spend seven days in government isolation followed by seven days of self-quarantine, while those from the U.K., Russia and Indonesia, where the Delta variant accounts for more than 90 percent of new infections, only have to go into self-quarantine.

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