The Increase of Covid Deaths in South Korea

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South Korea has reported it’s highest number of COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, authorities advised Americans to avoid traveling to the country grappling with a fast-developing omicron surge.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 61 deaths, this is the most deaths reported since the outbreak of the delta variant. Although the new omicron variant so far seems less likely to cause serious illness or death, the greater scale of the outbreak is fueling concerns that hospitalizations and fatalities could spike in coming weeks.

“I think that it’s important to keep doing what we are doing to stop the spread, so we can continue to travel,” says Emily. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the travel notice to a level 4 for South Korea, the highest risk. The U.S. is highly advertising to avoid travel or to be fully vaccinated if travel is unavoid. South Korea has begun to promote vaccinations for people to receive. 

“While unvaccinated people account for only 6% of the population 12 years or older, these people have accounted for 62% of serious cases and 66.5% of the deaths over the past eight weeks,” Park Hyang, a senior South Korean Health Ministry official.

South Korea has begun to reshape its COVID-19 response due to the unprecedented surge. Also the test practices are now centered around rapid antigen tests, with the more accurate laboratory tests reserved mostly for high-risk groups. But there are still concerns of people with negative tests possibly increasing the spread of the virus. 

“Compared to PCR (lab) tests, rapid antigen testing has limitations in accuracy. Our new testing policy is based on the thinking that such limitations must be tolerated as a tradeoff for detecting serious cases earlier amid a major viral spread like this one,” Health Ministry official Son Youngrae said.