Data experts say a new wave of the pandemic could take place as early as November in Korea. The research team of Professor Jeong Eun-ok of the Department of Mathematics at the Konkuk University spoke at the “Symposium on Big Data for Scientific Pandemic Control” held at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul on Wednesday, hosted by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
Professor Jeong predicted that the impact of the wave would vary greatly depending on the administration of the fourth dose. She predicted that the absence of the fourth dose vaccination may lead the number of accumulated deaths to 2,700. If 12 million of the population is vaccinated, the number of deaths would reduce to 700.
Experts say that a new wave would arrive in Korea soon, albeit the time of prediction varies by individuals. Professor Jeong Jae-hoon of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Gachon University also predicted that a new wave may arrive in the second half of the year. “At this point, we are prone to a new variant that may start a new wave,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government is considering to revert to PCR tests as the main tool for COVID-19 confirmation tests. Currently, expert-level antigen tests are also recognized as valid tests. Antigen test results had been recognized when the Omicron variant was dominant in Korea, as there were so many confirmed cases that PCR tests were not enough. Health authorities say that there is no reason to continue to use antigen tests, which are relatively less accurate, if the pandemic situation improves.