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[NEWS IN-DEPTH] S. Korea reporting fewest COVID-19 cases since January Updated: 2022-05-27 17:04:47 KST

South Korea has seen its daily number of COVID-19 cases come down to levels not seen since January.
Masks have not been required outdoors for weeks now.
North Korea, though, has been having hundreds of thousands of cases a day, but what would seem to be a remarkably low fatality rate.
The world has also seen another disease monkeypox appear in countries where it's not endemic.
To find out the latest on COVID-19 and other emerging health issues around the world, we're joined by our go-to medical expert, Dr. Alice Tan, who joins us tonight from Seattle, Washington.


1) With COVID-19 cases below 20-thousand a day, can you give us some sort of number that would indicate a qualitative change in the situation in Korea, whether case numbers, fatality rate or reproduction rate? I.e., when we have moved onto another "stage"?

2) Some cities in the United States are asking people to start wearing masks indoors again. Here in Korea, we're still doing that but can take them off outdoors. Are masks prevalent over there? Do you see the Korean government going back on the mask mandate outdoors?

3) In North Korea, they reported zero deaths yesterday and one death today. They're still reporting more than 100-thousand or even 200-thousand cases a day. Based on other statistics, do you think that death figure is realistic? What do you think is really happening on the ground there?

4) What is monkeypox, how is it transmitted, and though it's not a respiratory illness like COVID, what is the public health risk?

5) Last week, we asked you about the acute hepatitis of unknown cause occuring among children. That's fallen out of the headlines a bit. Have we learned anything more about this disease?
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