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S. Korea might speed up booster shots and apply circuit breaker to prevent critical cases Updated: 2021-11-16 09:49:24 KST

South Korea has hit new heights in terms of critical cases of COVID-19.
The country on Tuesday reported 495 new critical cases,.. seeing the number rise above 400 for the 11th day in a row.
South Korea has also seen over 2-thousand daily cases for a week, with Tuesday's official total tallying up to 2,125 new infections.
And the increase in infections is taking a toll on the nation's healthcare system.
Currently more than three out of four ICU beds are filled in the Seoul metropolitan area.
To prevent maximum capacity being reached,.. Prime minister Kim Boo-kyum said Monday that health authorities are currently trying to acquire enough beds to accommodate up to 10-thousand infected patients per day.
But that process could take up to four weeks.
So in the meantime, health authorities might suspend the further easing of prevention measures, if COVID-19 tallies and trends show that the country is headed for a full-on health crisis.
Health authorities on Thursday will announce a contingency plan detailing the specific measures they intend to take in response to a worsening situation.
Meanwhile,.. on the vaccination front,.. health authorities may take steps to speed up the booster shot campaign.
Since most critical cases are concentrated among the elderly and those with waning immunization, health minister Kwon Deok-cheol said Monday that the period of time between the final round of inoculations and administering the booster jab could be pulled in.
Currently, South Korea recommends people aged 50 and over to get their shots at least six months after being fully vaccinated.
And for people in nursing homes or people working at high-risk facilities,.. they can get their extra jab as early as five months after full inoculation.
However, the health minister said that authorities are currently reviewing the
booster jab timeline.. meaning top up shots could be given three to four months after final doses.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News
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