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S. Korea to step up testing, treatments to fight possible 4th wave Updated: 2021-04-13 05:52:56 KST

All over the country, cluster infections are occurring at family gatherings, companies and schools.
As before, some patients are asymptomatic, making them hard to track.
On the bright side, though, fewer patients are severely ill, and deaths are declining at nursing hospitals and related facilities now that vaccines are rolling out.
Officials said at Monday's special briefing that more efforts are in the works in terms of treatments, vaccines and testing.

"We are planning to focus intensely on high-risk groups, and offer efficient tests and early examinations to those with symptoms. Also, we will work to stop the variants, and proceed with quick and safe vaccinations and antibody treatments."

There will be periodic tests for workers at bathhouses, daycare centers and nightlife facilities.
Anyone can get tested for free… regardless of the distancing level, home address or symptoms.
Testing had been free only in parts of the country with cluster infections, but now it's available everywhere.
To stop the variants from overseas, there'll be more thorough examination requirements for those coming into Korea if they want to be exempt from self-quarantine.
Officials reassured the public that the vaccination process will continue as planned, and said more patients will be getting COVID-19 antibody treatments.
Rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine resumed on Monday for special education teachers, school nurses at kindergartens, elementary and middle schools.
In the meantime, President Moon Jae-in said in a meeting on Monday that the country could face an explosive wave of the virus, if we let down our guard.

"If we can't curb the virus, we have to strengthen the distancing level even if it puts a burden on people's livelihoods and the economy."

Starting from Monday, people have to wear their face masks at all indoor places regardless of the distancing level.
Indoor places include public transportation and companies.
Violators will be fined 100-thousand won, or about 90 U.S. dollars, and the owners of the facilities can be fined around 1,300 dollars.
South Korea reported 587 cases on Monday.
And as of Monday, more than one.one-five million people have gotten their first dose of a vaccine.
Jang Tae-hyun, Arirang News.
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