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S. Korea surpasses 7,500 COVID-19 cases on Monday; half of last week's cases were Omicron strain Updated: 2022-01-24 10:24:21 KST

A new record-high.
South Korea reported 7,513 new infections on Monday.
It's the highest figure reported on a Monday, when the caseload is usually lower due to fewer tests over the weekend.
Cases jumped up 50 percent in the last week compared to two weeks ago.
The Minister of Interior and Safety said Monday that half of last week's cases have been identified as Omicron.

"With Omicron infections spiking mainly in Gyeonggi-do province and the southwestern Honam region, Omicron cases have been identified in around 50 percent of the cases nationwide."

Health authorities in response are phasing into an Omicron-tailored virus response starting from Wednesday.

"Rather than trying to control the size of the spread, we'll aim to minimize deaths and critical cases. We'll conduct PCR tests mainly on high-risk patients, and for low-risk people, they will be tested through rapid antigen tests at COVID testing centers."

This new system will first be trialed in regions that have seen an alarming spread of the Omicron strain, namely Gwangju, Jeollanam-do province, Pyeongtaek city and Anseong city in Gyeonggi-do province.
This new system will also expand medical capacity by bringing on board local doctors and clinics for COVID-19 testing and treatment.
Further details will be announced by Prime minister Kim Boo-kyum this afternoon.
Meanwhile, starting from Monday, vaccine pass waivers will be extended to people who were hospitalized or have experienced adverse side effects up to 6 weeks after inoculation.
Before, people needed to prove a causal link between vaccination and their symptoms.
But now, proof of causality is no longer necessary.
People just need to provide their local health clinic with proof of hospitalization or a doctor's note saying they had side effects within 6 weeks of getting jabbed.
Then they'll get a waiver on their mobile COOV or QR code apps.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News
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