Social distancing measures in light of the pandemic are being EASED to make way for a new normal about a year and nine months since Korea's first COVID-19 infection.
For more on the country's exit strategy I have Professor David Kwak from Soon Chun Hyang University.
Professor Kwak welcome back.
I also have Doctor Kim Seung-taek from Institut Pasteur Korea.
Doctor Kim good to see you again.
1) Professor Kwak Korea's first set of pandemic-related restrictions were imposed 6-hundred-11 days ago AND TODAY marks the start of the GRADUAL LIFTING of those measures.
What are your thoughts on this advance in the battle against COVID-19?
2) Doctor Kim authorities have forecast that the daily tally could hit as high as 5-thousand as we begin our transition into life amid COVID-19.
Do you share this outlook?
2-2) Doctor Kim what in your view are some of the variables that may challenge Korea's transition efforts?
3) Professor Kwak our exit strategy consists of THREE STAGES with an INTERVAL of SIX WEEKS between each stage.
Is this an adequate interval?
3-2) Professor Kwak how do you respond to the EXPANDED number of people for social gatherings?
4) Doctor Kim UNVACCINATED people have the option of handing in negative PCR tests TAKEN WITHIN 48 hours to access certain facilities like indoor sports centers.
Now it takes about a day for the result of a PCR test and THUS some are calling for the adoption of simpler and quicker testing methods.
How do you respond?
Singapore was perhaps one of the first countries in Asia to declare a gradual shift in strategy against the pandemic this past summer.
Well authorities there are still learning to live with COVID-19 and for more on those efforts I have Professor PAUL TAMBYAH at the National University of Singapore LIVE on the LINE.
Professor Tambyah thank you for being with us.
5) There was a bit of a scare last Wednesday when Singapore reported a JUMP of OVER 5-thousand NEW infections.
Have authorities shared the reason behind this sudden surge?
5-2) I understand the daily tally is back on the 3-thousand level since then.
What can you tell us about the latest COVID-19 situation there?
5-3) Professor Tambyah Singapore's vaccination rate stands at ABOVE 80-percent and the WEARING of face masks remains mandatory there.
How do you explain the rebound in daily cases?
6) Professor Tambyah one essential aspect of learning to live with COVID-19 is keeping track of the RELATED DEATH TOLL and cases of SEVERE ILLNESS.
Where does Singapore stand on this front?
7) Professor Tambyah what's your take on efforts to further boost Singapore's public inoculation rate as part of efforts to better contain the resurgence there?
8) Professor Tambyah starting January next year I believe workplaces in Singapore will ban the entry of UNVACCINATED people.
How is the public responding to this upcoming measure AND how are authorities preparing to address concerns over discrimination against those unvaccinated?
9) Professor Tambyah what words of advice would you care to share with Korea as it begins its journey into a new normal?
All right Professor Tambyah thank you for your words and time.
10) Doctor Kim based on some of the information shared by Professor Tambyah with regard to the situation in Singapore what do you propose to better contain daily infections as we step into a new normal amid COVID-19?
11) Professor Kwak should the occupancy rate within ICU units hit 75-percent authorities will put in place a circuit breaker.
Now initially that rate had been 80-percent.
Why do you suppose was this rate lowered?
12) Doctor Kim authorities have pre-purchased COVID-19 PILLS for potential treatment of 400-thousand people.
Is this enough?
13) Professor Kwak come November 22nd schools will be fully opened.
What are your thoughts on the timing of this opening especially in light of the relatively low vaccination rate among school children?
14) Doctor Kim what are your prospects on the potential inoculation of children below 11 years old here in Korea?