So, another daily high in coronavirus cases in South Korea today a day after authorities enforced stringent restrictions in areas outside the Seoul capital region in efforts to slow a nationwide spread of infections.
This as cases surge in neighboring countries as well as around the world.
I want to bring in Dr. Alice Tan, Internist at MizMedi Women's Hospital.
South Korea keeps refreshing its daily record as the country struggles to subdue a fourth wave of outbreaks fanned by the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.
The outbreak is no longer limited to the greater capital area. The tightened social distancing doesn't appear too effective in curbing the increase, at this point.
What about this latest wave are you most worried about?
Health officials here have said we have not reached the peak of the wave yet. How much higher do we expect the daily caseload to hit before it begins to stem down? What will it take for us to stem the wave?
For the past couple of weeks, some South Koreans have been reporting breakthrough cases: catching the coronavirus despite being vaccinated.
The nation's health officials say more than 45-percent of all breakthrough cases in the country were those in their 30s. How do breakthrough infections happen and why are they highest among those in their 30s?
What risks do breakthrough cases pose?
Meanwhile, South Korea has decided to delay the second doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines by up to six weeks, deviating from the recommended protocol of a shorter time span.
In general, delaying a second booster dose allows for a better immune response to develop as was the case for AstraZeneca.
But, for these mRNA vaccines, is it safe and effective?
Covid-19 cases are once again on the rise in certain parts of the United States, driven by the more contagious Delta variant. In just a few short weeks Delta has become the dominant variant in the country, and now makes up 83-percent of new cases in the United States and soon to become dominant here in South Korea, as well. How effective are each of the vaccines available to us against Delta, exactly?
Are we going to need booster shots to protect against Delta?
South Korea said it's considering granting approval to lower the age limit for Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine to 12 year-olds. What does this imply? Are we learning that teenagers are also at significant risk of Covid-19?
Dr. Alice Tan, many thanks for your insights tonight. We appreciate it.