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Broader use of vaccine passes in S. Korea faces backlash; critically-ill COVID-19 patients at record high Updated: 2021-12-07 17:01:50 KST

South Korea reported 4-thousand 9-hundred 54 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.
And the number of critically-ill patients also reached an all-time high of 7-hundred 74.. the seventh day in row that it's been above 700.

Also on Tuesday, the number of Omicron cases found in the country went up by 12 bringing the total discovered to 36.
There are worries that the outbreak found at a church in Incheon could have now spread to universities in Seoul as three students attended the church.

With hospitals stretched to capacity, authorities in South Korea have pressed pause on the "gradual return to normal" scheme and launched tougher measures this week including expanding "vaccine passes" to more businesses, like restaurants and cafes.
Authorities have also said they would extend passes to those aged 12 to 18 from February.

These measures have drawn much controversy from business owners, students and parents.
To the growing discontent, President Moon Jae-in said virus prevention measures had to be inevitably intensified and vaccination was undoubtedly the most effective way to tackle COVID-19.
In a meeting at the Blue House, he asked all civilians to bear with the situation and abide to all measures.

Meanwhile, travelers departing from Incheon International Airport can now print out their negative PCR test results at a kiosk in the airport.
Those that have been tested at some 13 affiliated hospitals will be able to use this service.
Authorities hope to extend this service to include some 80 more hospitals in the near future.
Shin Ye-eun, Arirang News.
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