We start with the latest on the coronvirus situation in South Korea.
Things are looking dire in the country, with the number of daily infections and critically-ill patients hitting new-highs.
Authorities are getting ready intervene to tackle the crisis.
For more on this and other related updates,.. joining us is our reporter Choi Min-jung, good morning to you.
We saw a record daily tally on Wednesday - more than 4-thousand cases,.. are we expecting to see that number even higher today?
Luckily,.. no. The number for today is expected to be below 4-thousand.
From midnight to 9 P.M. on Wednesday, a little over 3-thousand cases were confirmed.
However, if you just look at the capital, Seoul, the number of infections hit a new high.
The capital confirmed 1-thousand 5-hundred 13 cases.
The figures for Seoul have been spiking ever since the country began transitioning back to normal in early November.
If you compare the numbers before and after the easing of restrictions over a three week period, the daily average more than DOUBLED,from the 6-hundred range to nearly 1-thousand 4-hundred.
Right, with the ongoing surge, especially in the capital region, the Prime Minister said that an emergency action plan could be adopted. What are some of the likely measures?
Right, South Korea's daily recovery committee for COVID-19 will hold its fourth meeting today.
The committee led by Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum, will assess the current virus situation, and decide on ways to strengthen anti-virus measures.
First, the government is planning to make vaccine passes valid for around 6 months after full vaccination, due to concerns over waning immunity.
Officials are also planning on expanding vaccine pass mandates for restaurants and cafes.
As of now, vaccine passes are not required for these locations.
Another anticipated change is the expansion of vaccine passes for those younger than 18.
With infections increasing among teenagers, places that are popular to students, such as singing rooms,.. may start to require vaccine passes for younger people as well.
Right, concerns are growing as COVID-19 continues to spread among younger people, but another concern is senior citizens. What can older people do to protest themselves?
Well, authorities have been emphasizing the need to get booster shots.
Over the past two weeks, breakthrough infections accounted for 80-percent of the transmissions among those aged 60 and over.
The Korean Medical Association on Wednesday said that booster shots are necessary, as seniors are likely to get affected by waning vaccine immunity.
Medical experts in Europe have also stressed that getting the extra dose will reduce infections and deaths.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control on Wednesday said that COVID boosters should be considered for all adults,.. with priority given to those aged 40 and older.
It's also a major shift from its previous guidance in the fall, which said that there was no urgent need to administer more shots to the fully vaccinated.
But Minjung, we heard a very tragic story yesterday.
The country confirmed a COVID-19 infection in a miscarried fetus for the first time tell us more on this.
That's right. A mid-term fetus was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 for the very first time in the country.
The 25-week pregnant woman contracted COVID-19 last week, and in just four days, she had a miscarriage.
Authorities said the mother was unvaccinated,.. and the fetus tested positive afterwards.
Whether the cause of death is COVID-related, and how the fetus was infected is yet to be confirmed.
According to a research conducted by the U.S. CDC, stillbirths among COVID-19 patients were almost double those among uninfected mothers.
Given the risks, medical experts are recommending pregnant women get vaccinated as well.
Thank you Min-jung for your report. We'll see you again for our newscast tomorrow.