New COVID-19 cases are on the rise among people aged 60 or older. Despite the fact that the age group are the most vaccinated one in the country, COVID-19 cases are rapidly climbing among them this month. Now a higher number of people aged 60 or older are being infected with the coronavirus than those before mass vaccinations. With the spread of the super-contagious Delta variant and new cases of the Delta plus in the country, concerns over breakthrough infections are rising.
According to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters and the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy on Friday, an average of 171 people was infected with the coronavirus among people aged 60 or older in August. It increased significantly from 116 in July and is more than double that of June (82), when the fourth wave of COVID-19 did not take hold. In particular, the number is even higher than that of January (155), when the country was still affected by the aftermath of the third wave of COVID-19, and that of April (152), when vaccinations began among the elderly.
As of at 12 a.m. on Friday, 40 percent of South Koreans received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines. The number rises to over 90 percent among people aged 60 and older. “As the fourth wave of COVID-19 dominated by the Delta variant continues to ravage in the country, even the vaccinated elderly cannot let their guard down,” said Kang Kyung-wook at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy.
Korea reported 1,704 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, which is similar to 1,710 a week ago. It has been almost a month since Level 4 social distancing measures were put in place in the Seoul metropolitan area but the fourth wave of COVID-19 is showing no signs of abating. The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters has eventually decided to extend the current toughest social distancing measures in the capital area for two more weeks until Aug. 22. Accordingly, private gatherings of three people or more is banned after 6 p.m. in the capital area. As for non-capital areas, where gatherings of five or more people are banned, immediate family members will not be allowed as an exception. In other words, up to four people are allowed to meet, even if they are parents and children, if they do not live together.
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