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Seoul mulls management system like flu amid hike in COVID-19

Seoul mulls management system like flu amid hike in COVID-19

Posted February. 05, 2022 07:17,   

Updated February. 05, 2022 07:17


The South Korean government said Friday that it will consider a plan to manage Covid-19 in the same way it manages seasonal influenza. It is the first time in more than 2 years since the first COVID-19 outbreak that the government has mentioned the possibility of ‘control of COVID-19 like flu.’ The government is mulling the measure because severe cases and the hospital bed occupancy rate are stable despite surging confirmed cases because it is the Omicron variant, whose fatality is relatively lower than the other variants, that is widely spreading.

“We will widely consider the possibility of transitioning into a healthcare and disease control system similar to that for influenza going forward,” the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters said in a press memo on Friday. That is, the government will seek to push for return to normalcy including easing of quarantine measures if the burden on the healthcare system, including the number of available hospital beds, and the disease fatality rate remain at a stable level despite a surge in confirmed cases.

The government has decided to introduce so-called “self-epidemiological investigation’ across the nation from Monday. A confirmed patient will thus be able to submit data on his or her identification, underlying health condition and household members in person rather than through an epidemiologist to the public health center’s website. From Monday, people aged 50 and older (rather than 60 and older) will be eligible for Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill ‘Paxlovid’ if he or she has underlying diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity.

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