July 26, 2022 11:09
Korea reported nearly 100,000 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday morning for the first time in three months as more virulent but milder mutations take over.
Current vaccines seem powerless to prevent the spread but can significantly reduce the severity of infection.
Prescriptions of orally administered remedies remain low. According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Monday, only 28 percent of 1.06 million doses of Pfizer's Paxlovid and other antivirals have been prescribed so far.
Just 275,546 doses of Paxlovid have been taken since the pill became available here in mid-January.
Oral remedies like Paxlovid and Merck's Lagevrio can only be prescribed to senior citizens or immune-deficient patients in the early stage of infection and are hard to come by at frontline clinics. For example, there are 28 different drugs that must not be taken together with Paxlovid, and the prescription process is complicated.
Meanwhile, one more confirmed case of BA.2.75 or Centaurus subvariant was detected in Korea on Monday raising the total to four. According to the KDCA, the latest confirmed case was a 20-something foreigner in North Chungcheong Province who has had three vaccine injections so far. The patient developed symptoms on July 13 and tested positive the same day.
That patient is a friend of Korea's second confirmed case and appears to have contracted the virus after picking his friend up at the airport.
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