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New COVID-19 cases more than doubling for two weeks

Posted July. 13, 2022 08:04,   

Updated July. 13, 2022 08:04


The number of daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Korea more than doubled for the past week, showing signs of a pandemic. As the surge in confirmed cases and the increase in travel during the summer vacation coincide, there is also a forecast that the number of those infected per day will soar to the maximum of 250,000 by mid-August.

According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KCDA) on Tuesday, there were 37,360 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Korea as of Tuesday midnight. This was 3.8 times of 9,894 on June 28, two weeks ago, and 2.1 times of 18,136 on July 5, a week ago, respectively. It is the first time since the Omicron variant-driven wave at the end of January this year that the number of confirmed cases per day doubled for the two consecutive weeks.

In particular, the ‘BA.5’ variant, which has three times higher immune evasion than the Omicron variant, is rapidly spreading in Korea. Last week, the domestic detection rate of BA.5 was recorded at 35.0 percent, surpassing other virus variants such as 'BA.2.3' (31.8 percent), becoming a variant with the largest proportion. "We think BA.5 will cause a lot of re-infection because of its high degree of immune evasion!” said Lim Sook-yeong, head of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters.,

This initial rate of spread is faster than the United States and the United Kingdom. According to the international statistics site Our World in Data, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people last week was 311.5 in South Korea, surpassing the U.S. (310.5) and the U.K (304.8). This is likely to be related to loosened social distancing measures and lifted quarantine

Researchers who initially predicted the peak of this reinfection wave at the level of '150,000 a day in late autumn' are also making wave predictions that are larger and earlier in proportions. "Around August 17, there can be as many as 250,000 confirmed cases per day,” said Professor Jeon Jae-hun of Department of Preventive Medicine at Korea University. “The number of critically ill patients admitted to the hospital at that time can reach 800."

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