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S. Korea to report around 4,000 new COVID-19 cases on Friday Updated: 2021-11-26 05:40:56 KST

We start with the latest on the coronavirus situation in South Korea.
The country is expecting to see cases increase perhaps surpassing the 4-thousand mark once again.
Authorities are coming up with ways to tame the spread but finding a solution doesn't seem to be easy.
For more on this and other related updates we have our reporter Choi Min-jung in the studio with us, good morning.

Good morning.

Min-jung, new cases expected to rise again today?

That's right the country is forecast to see numbers hover around the 4-thousand mark once again.

From midnight to 9 P.M. Thursday there were more than 3-thousand 2-hundred cases confirmed.
This is up by more than almost 2-hundred cases from the day before.
Authorities are on high alert as the capital, Seoul, continues to witness over 1-thousand 5-hundred cases.
Hospital beds for the severely-ill are filling up quickly and there are only 50 left in Seoul.
The number of people being treated at home has also increased drastically.
Almost 3-thousand 7-hundred people living in Seoul are currently being treated at home.
Compared to the day before, this is an increase of over 5-hundred 60 patients.
Meanwhile, more than 80-percent of Seoul's population have been fully vaccinated but over 30-percent of the new infections are breakthrough cases.

Right We know that the authorities met yesterday to finalize strengthened anti-virus measures. But we hear the announcement has been postponed.

That's right. They were originally set to announce tougher anti-virus measures today.

But the authorities failed to reach a conclusion after Thursday's special meeting on pandemic response.
Some of the plans that came up during the meeting was ramping booster vaccinations for seniors and expanding vaccine pass mandates to those under 18.
This means teenagers will soon have to be vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19 in order to enter facilities like singing rooms or public baths.
There appears to be talks on mandating vaccine passes in restaurants and cafes too as well as reducing the number of people allowed for social gatherings.
The government's delay in making the decision suggests that it is not an easy task to please everyone with strong opposition from small business owners.

You mentioned the government's efforts to ramp up booster shots. What's the current goal?

As of now their goal is to complete booster vaccinations for people aged 60 and over in December.

The KDCA chief Jeong Eun-kyeong says that it is crucial to speed up this process as even those vaccinated are getting infected due to waning immunity.
Because it takes around 4 weeks to form immunity after the additional shot Jeong says its important to reduce contact with others during that time.

Min-jung, how are things going on the vaccination front for younger people?

Well, vaccinations rates among teenagers are varying greatly by age.

As of Thursday four out of ten people aged 12 to 17 have received first doses.
While 17-percent are fully vaccinated.
If you look at ages 16 to 17 seven in ten people have received first shots and close to half have completed vaccinations.
But in the lower age group from 12 to 15, less than 2-percent have been fully inoculated.
And data shows the lower the age, the fewer people getting shots.

Meanwhile, the risk of infection among students has increased with the resumption of full in-person classes.
And authorities are advising younger kids to get vaccinated.
This comes as an average of 4-hundred students are getting infected in a single day.
This being said authorities have extended vaccine reservations for teenagers until the end of this year.
Those aged 14 and over may also reserve left-over vaccines through Kakao or Naver.

Well I hope that could help ramp up the vaccination rate among students. Anyway Thank you Min-jung for your report. Will talk to you later next week.

Thank you.
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