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S. Korea to leave mandatory 7-day quarantine for COVID-19 patients for 4 more weeks Updated: 2022-05-20 08:08:46 KST

Our top story at this hour health authorities have just announced changes to South Korea's virus protocols, or what it calls the "Post-Omicron response plan".
The new plan will take effect next Monday.
For more, we have our Song Yoo-jin live on the line.
Yoo-jin, brief us on the updates.

Well Seung-jae, all attention was focused on whether health authorities would lift mandatory quarantine for COVID-19 patients.
Currently, those who test positive for the virus must isolate themselves for 7 days.
But today, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters announced they would leave quarantine measures in place for 4 more weeks until June 20th.
The decision was made on the back of a sluggish decline in the number of critically ill patients and deaths due to COVID-19.
The emergence of new, more transmissible subvariants have added more concern.
Authorities will reassess the virus situation, listen to expert opinion, and then make their decision once again in June.

Also, middle and high school students have their final exams next month.
Although quarantine will remain, students who test positive or have COVID-like symptoms will be able to take their tests in separate classrooms.

Health authorities have also vowed to expand the number of medical institutions that can provide face-to-face treatment to COVID-19 patients.
They will also work on securing more sickbeds for those who are hospitalized.

And are there any updates on the number of daily COVID-19 cases?

South Korea reported 25,one-hundred-25 new virus cases today.
This is down more than 3-thousand from yesterday and is the second straight day that the virus tally stayed in the 20-thousands.
There were 43 related deaths and the number of critically ill patients stood at 2-hundred-51.
That's all I have for now, back to you Seung-jae.
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