THE PANDEMIC has THROWN the world a FRESH CURVEBALL AND authorities are moving to COUNTER the NEW CHALLENGE with COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSES BORDER CONTROLS and FRESH CALLS for PUBLIC VIGILANCE and VACCINATION.
For more I have Professor Jung Ki-suck from Hallym University.
Pleasure to have you back Professor Jung.
I also have Professor David Kwak from Soon Chun Hyang University.
Good to see you again Professor Kwak.
1) Professor Jung PRIOR to late Wednesday's announcement of Korea's FIRST FIVE CASES of OMICRON health officials on Tuesday had said they were looking into FOUR SUSPECTED CASES AFTER one sample TESTED POSITIVE for a VARIANT that was NOT the DELTA.
Do tell us more.
((Korea has reported FIVE CASES of OMICRON including a couple who had returned from a trip to Nigeria last Wednesday and a friend who drove the couple home from the airport.
The other two cases were women who also returned from a visit to Nigeria last Tuesday.))
2) Professor Kwak the couple arrived last Wednesday and the POSITIVE results of the couple's PCR tests conducted upon arrival were shared a day later MEANING the couple had at least one day to freely move about in Incheon ((where the couple lives)).
What are your thoughts on the POSSIBILITY of a COMMUNITY SPREAD?
((GENETIC SEQUENCING TESTS are underway AS the couple's teenage son has since tested positive for COVID-19 AS HAVE SEVERAL RELATIVES of the man who drove the couple home.
Health workers are also reaching out to the 45 passengers who were on aboard the same flight.))
3) Professor Jung the global health body has DENOUNCED the TRAVEL BANS IMPOSED against SOUTHERN African countries amid the OMICRON SCARE.
How do you respond AND what do you propose to deal with the current situation?
4) Professor Kwak there is WIDESPREAD BELIEF that current vaccines and treatment options MAY BE LESS EFFECTIVE againt OMICRON.
What are your thoughts?
5) Professor Jung Korea's DAILY TALLY is hovering on the 5-thousand level for the second straight day WHILE the NUMBER of SEVERE CASES STANDS at ABOVE 700.
Do you expect. these INDICES to SURGE HIGHER?
6) Professor Kwak on the vaccination front some 80-percent of the population has received EITHER the Janssen vaccine OR two doses of OTHER COVID-19 vaccines.
What is the IMPLICATION of this reality AS we continue to tackle SOARING CASELOADS and now OMICRON?
7) Professor Jung authorities here have declared home treatment for COVID-19 the standard procedure.
For the sake of comparison what can you tell us about this treatment method in other countries?
8) Professor Kwak there are CONCERNS over this form of treatment AS QUESTIONS have been RAISED about the POTENTIAL RISKS FACING family members within the same household as well as THOSE AGAINST neighbors.
How do you respond?
9) Professor Jung what do you suggest to address these latest hurdles in our fight against COVID-19?