Now for the latest remarks from authorities here regarding their containment efforts and more I have Soa back at the desk.
Sunny, we are back from another holiday, and one more is coming up next week, which has been keeping authorities on high alert. Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum noted that people have become less vigilant despite the ongoing fourth wave of the virus. Let's take a listen.
"The expressways were very busy over the National Foundation holiday. There was just as much as movement when compared to Chuseok, and people flocked to department stores and shopping malls as well. At some places, basic prevention guidelines like mask-wearing were not strictly followed."
A senior health ministry official at the earlier government briefing, echoed those concerns, citing the recent trend in domestic cases.
"Due to the effects of the Chuseok holidays two weeks ago, infections rose in both the capital and non-capital regions. The metropolitan area saw a daily average of 1,865 infections last week, a 20.9 percent increase, while 624 average cases were reported elsewhere, a rise of 28.5 percent. Due to the nationwide spread, the reproduction rate of the virus stood at 1.2 last week, climbing for the fourth-straight week."
The nationwide increase from September 26th to October 2nd according to Son surged by 22.7 percent to an average of 2,490 cases. Unvaccinated or partially-immune people, in particular the younger population and foreign residents made up a large portion, with close to six out of ten people between the ages 20 and 49, and more than 24 percent of recent cases having occurred among foreigners.
Moving on Soa what is the latest with regard to Korea's adoption of a vaccine passport?
Yes, ever since the concept of a vaccine pass has been mentioned by officials here, which would allow fully vaccinated citizens to access certain public facilities, including entertainment venues like cinemas, there have been growing concerns regarding those who don't possess a vaccine pass. This is what Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum had to say.
"The system must be planned out in a way that actively supports the return to normal for fully-vaccinated people, but it is also very important to make sure unvaccinated people are not discriminated against or left out. I ask related ministries to make preparations in advance, through the soon-to-be-launched support committee for the restoration of our daily lives, to gather sufficient opinions and build public consensus."
And what has been shared about the VALIDITY of these vaccine passes?
I mean how long will they last?
Right, as such passes are valid for around six months in countries that have introduced them, Korean officials have been citing that span in earlier comments. BUT, for now nothing has been set, according to in the earlier briefing, but what he did say is that such a system would be a temporary one, as the vaccine passes will be less in need, once vaccination rates become high enough.
I suppose we'll have to wait a bit more for details.
Thank you Soa for those updates.