Korea Braces for COVID Surge After Lunar New Year

  • By Sun Jung-min

    January 27, 2022 09:40

    The daily tally of coronavirus infections surged to 14,518 as of Thursday morning, almost doubling in just a few days. Health officials expect the figures to soar even further after the Lunar New Year holiday this weekend.

    Kim Tak at Soonchunhyang University Hospital said, "At this rate, we will see 15,000 to 20,000 daily infections before the biggest holiday of the year and 40,000 to 50,000 afterwards."

    People line up to get tested for coronavirus in Seoul on Wednesday. /Yonhap

    The government said Wednesday that it will reduce the number of PCR tests handled by public test centers or facilities from Feb. 3 amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. PCR tests will only be conducted on senior citizens and high-risk groups while others can carry out rapid antigen tests at home.

    But RAT kits often show false negatives, which could increase the risk of the disease spreading even further.

    Kim Woo-joo at Korea University Guro Hospital said, "The number of COVID patients tallied by the government will be much smaller than the actual number of cases."

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