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S. Korea's daily COVID-19 figure to stay near 2,000s on Thursday Updated: 2021-10-14 05:37:37 KST

We start with the latest on the coronavirus situation in South Korea.
Just like the authorities were warning,the number of new COVID-19 cases is ticking up.
But, vaccination rates are also rising, putting South Korea on the brink of reaching its 70 percent goal earlier than expected.

For more on this and other COVID-19-related updates, joining us live in the studio is our reporter, Shin Ye-eun, good morning

Good morning.

Let's start with the forecast for Thursday. We'll have an official count soon, but what's the current estimate?

What we currently know is that the number of new COVID-19 cases will most likely be around the two-thousand mark.
That's because from midnight to 9 pm on Wednesday, 1-thousand 8-hundred 32 infections were confirmed.
That's 3-hundred 61 more than than the same period the previous day.
8 out of 10 locally transmitted cases are in the greater Seoul area.
Today will be the 100th straight day that South Korea has seen daily COVID-19 figures stay in quadruple digits.

While we are seeing a slight uptick in new caseswe're also seeing vaccination rates pick up speed. How many people have been vaccinated in Korea so far?

The majority of the population have received both jabs.
To give you exact numbers, 60.8 percent are considered fully vaccinated.
And more than 70 percent of the adult population have had two shots.
Vaccination rates have really picked up pace over the past few months.
In July, only 10 percent had received both jabs.
South Korea has expanded vaccinations by nearly 50 percent in just a few months.

That alone is a major achievement in October. Based on the current projections, it seems vaccination rates are likely to continue rising in the coming weeks.

You're absolutely right.
Authorities believe full vaccination rates could surpass 70 percent within around 10 daysif vaccinations continue at the current pace.
Take a listen.

"We expect vaccination rates to surpass 70 percent in the week of October 25th. We'll do our best to reach this rate even sooner."

Although Korea would be crossing the 70 percent vaccination mark much quicker than expectedauthorities are still trying to expedite the process.
Because they want to start GRADUALLY easing restrictions in November.
So on Friday, authorities will announce what are believed to be the last measures before heading into the government's "living with COVID-19" strategy.
These measures take effect on Monday, and will most likely last for two weeks.
Many are expecting either an extension of the ones they're implementing now.. and potentially some forms of vaccine incentives.

Speaking of these incentives. Countries with these have seen quite a lot of success. Tell us more about what other country's vaccine incentives look like.

The U.S. has expanded its vaccine incentives to even foreigners.
The Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday that the U.S. will reopen land borders with Mexico and Canada to fully vaccinated travelers from November some 19 months after they were closed.
They curbed travel from Mexico and Canada since March 2020.
We can evaluate this as one of the many efforts the Biden administration has taken to try and boost vaccination rates.
As of now, more than 56 percent of Americans have been fully vaccinated.

Moving on to Singapore, it has fully inoculating 83 percent of its population.
only the vaccinated are now allowed to drink and eat at coffee shops and restaurants.
Those that haven't been vaccinated can only order take-out.
They'll also be restricted from visiting shopping malls.
These measures took effect from Wednesday but a grace-period will be applied over the next week.

Seems a touch heavy-handed by Singapore to restrict people's freedoms like that, but we'll see how the population reacts. Now, we've gone over countries with high vaccination rates, but others are lagging behind, especially the majority of Africa and this is causing concerns.

Yes, taking Africa as an example
Only 7 percent of the population has received even a single dose.
That's why the director-general of the WHO asked countries to refrain from using booster shots until more of the world gets at least one jab.

Getting the global vaccination rate up is definitely important because this is a virus that doesn't care about borders.

Thank you for your report, Ye-eun, and we'll speak to you tomorrow.
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