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S. Korea sees rising infections among children and elders Updated: 2021-11-03 11:08:58 KST

Back on the local COVID-19 situation.
Officials have voiced concerns about the recent rise in infections among children and the elderly AS WELL AS an UNSETTLING FINDING with regard to the RECENT losses of lives from COVID-19.
For more Choi Won-jong joins me now.
Won-jong welcome.

Afternoon.

Let's start off with the death toll.
I hear ONE out of EVERY FOUR PEOPLE who passed away from COVID-19 WAS fully INOCULATED?

That is unfortunately right.
In the past 5 weeks,. ONE in FOUR people who died from COVID-19 were fully vaccinated.
In that period, Korea reported 3-hundred 89 deaths with 95 of them being breakthrough cases, a concerning figure for health authorities here.

So how are officials explaining the recent rise in death toll despite the relatively high vaccinate rate?

Well, the government said it's because more infections have been reported among elderly people above the age of 60.
Many people in their 60s often have underlying conditions which increases the chances of them becoming severely-ill from COVID or dying.

And JUST HOW MUCH of AN INCREASE are we talking about?

Okay let's dive deep into this.
According to reports on Tuesday from October 24th to 30th 4-hundred 20 cases that week were reported in seniors aged over 60.
That's an 18.3 percent increase from the previous week.
This is the first time that over 400 cases involving people in this age group were reported.

But many of them are fully inoculated?

Correct. More than 91 percent of that age group have been fully vaccinated.
These infections are breakthrough cases and according to the reports, they're being reported from nursing homes and hospitals.
That being said, booster shots may need to be administered as soon as possible as it appears that the effectiveness of vaccines in these elders who were vaccinated much earlier than the rest of the population, has decreased a lot over time.

Right then let's now talk about the jump in transmissions among teenagers.

Sure.
Korean health authorities raised concerns over cluster infections among school students.
According to the authorities Wednesday, teenagers make up around a quarter of the total caseload, and it is rising gradually.
As you know, college entrance exams will begin in two weeks and in-person classes will be available for all students.
The government will put all their efforts into keeping schools safe.
Particularly, schools will have PCR tests ready on site in the Greater Seoul area preventative support will be ready for those classes with full capacity.
But I also point out the majority of children in the age group have not yet been fully vaccinated which makes very vulnerable when it comes to large outbreaks.
Looking at vaccination reservation rate in 12 to 15 it's less than 28-percent.
But, reservation rate for 16 to 17 is much higher with more than 65-percent.
We will see how it goes.

All right Won-jong thank you for now but do stay behind for the broader talks.

Thank you.
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