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South Korea expects to see daily figures hover in 4-thousands amid spike in Omicron cases Updated: 2021-12-06 05:36:13 KST

We start with the latest on the COVID-19 situation in South Korea.
Over the past week, the daily average of new infections has reached nearly 4-thousand 6-hundred.
Also with the highly transmissible Omicron variant in the country, authorities have just imposed stronger anti-virus measures that'll remain in place for the next four weeks.
For more on this and other related updates,.. joining us is our reporter Shin Ye-eun, Good morning

Good morning.

Ye-eun, let's start with the number of new COVID-19 infections we're expecting today.

Mok-yeon, even though we're just coming back from the weekend when the caseload is usually lower due to fewer tests donewe've seen a pretty high figure.
Up to 9 pm Sunday, the country reported 3-thousand 8-hundred 87 new COVID-19 infections.
This was 119 fewer than what had been reported the same time the day before, but up by more than 1-thousand 1-hundred from the same time last week.
So we're expecting to see Monday's COVID-19 tally hover somewhere in the 4-thousands.
Though we don't know the exact number of critically ill patients, we're most likely to see the number stay above the 7-hundred mark for the sixth day straight.
On Sunday, 7-hundred 44 were in critical conditionof which 80 percent were over 60 years old.

Authorities say they have enough hospital beds to treat these patients. But did they expect the number of critically ill patients to spike this quickly?

Nationwide, nearly 80 percent of all hospital beds are being used to treat COVID-19 patients that are critically ill.
The Seoul and Incheon area has especially seen a shortage with more than 91 percent of all their beds filled.
So yes, COVID-19 has put a strain on medical capacity prompting "at-home treatment" to be advised as a norm.
So COVID-19 patients that haven't shown any symptoms, or just mild oneshave been asked to treat themselves AT HOME for 10 days.
They are basically given home-treatment kits and are monitored by nearby medical facilities with oxygen levels and body temperature checked a few times a day.
If these facilities find any abnormal symptoms, they will then bring these patients into the hospital.

We've also seen more people infected specifically with the highly contagious Omicron variantover the weekend. Tell us more on that

Right, in a few hours we'll know just how many more have been infected with the Omicron variant.
But up to Sunday, we saw three more infected in SEOULbringing the total number of cases to 12.
The three were all international students studying at universities in Seoul.
They had reportedly visited the church in Incheon, where the first Omicron case was detected.
One came into contact with a total of 1-hundred 39 students in the library and 30 more at an offline class.
So we will have to wait and see whether and just how much the Omicron variant has spread outside of Incheon area.

South Korea has paused the "gradual return to normal scheme" and introduced these strict virus prevention measures. How will these measures will affect us

The biggest change is the number of people that can meet up for a social gathering.
In the capital region, only six people will be able to meetwhich is down from 10.
And in other regions, only 8 can meetwhich is reduced from 12.
Only one unvaccinated person will be allowed per group in all regions.
This measure will last for 4 weeks.
Also, vaccine passes will now be required in restaurants and cafes.
Currently, these so called "passes" have only been required for people entering venues like indoor sports facilities, bars, nightclubs, singing rooms and public baths.
But now people who want to eat out, go to a museum, watch a movie at a theater, or even study at cram schools must provide proof of vaccination.
If they're not vaccinated, they must submit a negative PCR test taken within two days.
However, passes will still not be required for weddings, funerals, department stores, supermarkets, and outdoor sports facilities.
And a one-week grace period for this latest measure will remain from today.

Alright, thanks for your report Ye-eun, we'll see you on Tuesday.

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