On JANUARY 20th 2020 Korea reported its FIRST COVID-19 INFECTION.
It's been two years since then AND the battle continues AMID the EMERGENCE of OMICRON that is RENDERING current containment efforts LESS EFFECTIVE.
For more I have Professor Kim Moon-kyu from Yonsei University.
Welcome back Professor Kim.
I also have Professor David Kwak from Soon Chun Hyang University.
Professor Kwak it's good to have you here.
Meanwhile joining this session virtually is Professor ALI MOK-DAD at the University of Washington.
Professor Mok-dad it's been a while.
1) Professor Kim Korea has endured four waves of the pandemic over the course of two years AND NOW OMICRON is looking to fuel a fresh wave here.
How do you assess the risks we face?
2) Professor Mokdad speaking to U.S. media outlets last week you PREDICTED OMICRON will PEAK this week over in the U.S.
Do tell us more about your prediction and perhaps its accuracy GIVEN the status quo there.
3) Professor Kwak back on the local front when do you suppose. will OMICRON become the dominant strain here?
4) Professor Mokdad based on your forecasting model what can you tell us about the TIMING of OMICRON's PEAK here in Korea?
5) Professor Kim health authorities here have spoken about an OMICRON-TAILORED response strategy.
How does this containment plan compare to our current framework?
6) Professor Mokdad you've also pointed out that OMICRON's DECLINE in the U.S. will be JUST AS RAPID AS its SPREAD.
When exactly do you expect OMICRON to SUBSIDE over in the U.S.?
7) Professor Kwak a number of health pundits claim the PANDEMIC will become ENDEMIC this year.
What are the IMPLICATIONS of this TRANSITION?
8) Professor Kim should Korea be LOOKING to ALTER its containment STRATEGY in PREPARATION for COVID-19's TRANSITION into an ENDEMIC STATE?
9) Professor Mokdad under the current circumstances what are your prospects on the EMERGENCE of a DEADLY COVID-19 variant?
10) Professor Kwak Chinese authorities claim Beijing's FIRST CASE of OMICRON may have been the result of a CONTAMINATED PARCEL from Canada.
What are your thoughts?
11) Professor Mokdad hospitalizations among children in the U.S. have REPORTEDLY SOARED amid OMICRON.
What does this REALITY tell us about OMICRON's POTENTIAL IMPACT on the young?
12) Professor Kim PRELIMINARY FINDINGS over in Israel show a 4th COVID-19 vaccine shot offers LIMITED PROTECTION against OMICRON.
Having said that what are your thoughts on the necessity of additional doses after a 3rd shot?