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UK, Russia, Singapore cases surge while COVID-19 cases decline worldwide Updated: 2021-10-22 05:49:07 KST

We start with the lates on the coronavirus situation in South Korea.
We'll take a look at South Korea's progress tackling the virus and discuss the situation around the rest of the world.

To update us on the latest, we have our COVID-19 correspondent, Yeon-seung here with us in studio.
Welcome Yeon-seung.

Happy to be here.

So tell us what's the latest on the coronavirus situation here in South Korea?

Well, to start with the numbers
South Korean health authorities saw close to 14-hundred new COVID-19 cases up to 9 PM last night.
This number is expected to climb to around 15-hundred when the authorities round up the total tally for Friday morning.
As for vaccinations, the latest reported rate stood at 67.4 percent, and authorities say that there are about 1.3-5 million people left to be jabbed in order to reach 70 percent in terms of people who are fully vaccinated.
Health authorities are giving that last extra push for vaccinations to reach that milestone.
So for people who've missed their dates for their second dose, it's now possible for them to just head over to their nearest vaccination center and get the jab on the same day.
They just need to check to see if the center has any leftover doses, and register their names.

Right then it's not long before witn start the so-called "Living with COVID-19" scheme in South Korea

Authorities are charging ahead with this new normal lifestyle plan.
They're holding a public hearing next Monday to reveal a part of the first draft of the "Living with COVID-19" scheme.
They're also soliciting feedback on ways to ease social distancing measures while staying vigilant about stopping the virus.

That's very exciting, to think that we're going to see the end of these prolonged social distancing measures.
Do you have any idea on what we can expect?

Well before health authorities make an official announcement, there's really no way to know the specifics, but we can maybe speculate by taking a look at Japan's experience.
They're just one step ahead of South Korea in implementing a "Living with COVID-19" scheme.
They've been seeing a stunning drop in infections nationwide, especially in their capital Tokyo.
The city has seen fewer than 50 cases per day for five days straight.
So some of the most populated cities in Japan, Tokyo and Osaka, are pulling all restrictions and alcohol services in bars and restaurants as long as they meet the government-set requirements for COVID-19 prevention.
But there's still a four-person limit on the number of people who can sit at the same table.

So a significant plunge in Japan's COVID-19 cases. How about the rest of the world?

Well, COVID-19 numbers have been on the decline worldwide for seven weeks straight now,.. but some countries are seeing a surge in cases.
UK cases topped 50-thousand for the first time in three months.
There's even this new variant in the UK that spun off from Delta, and it's sparking concern over whether it's more transmissible and more unresponsive to the vaccines than Delta is.
This variant was detected in Israel, as well.
Russia is seeing record deaths and cases, which President Putin has responded to by ordering a nine-day-long shutdown in workplaces.
Singapore's health system is overwhelmed with a majority of their isolation rooms and ICU filled.
The World Health Organization's emergency director Mike Ryan said on Thursday that increased indoor social mixing could have contributed to the surge in cases, especially in many European countries.
Speaking of the WHO,.. I just want to quickly mention that they released a grim report Thursday.
They estimate this virus could have killed 80 to 180-thousand healthcare workers between January last year and May of 2021.
And to really curb that number from climbing even higher, it's imperative that COVID-19 vaccines reach health workers in low-income countries as well.

Thank you for that report. Let's talk again for our midday newscast.

Thank you

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