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A sign of Covid-19's resurgence shows in 9 weeks

Posted October. 22, 2022 07:43,   

Updated October. 22, 2022 07:43


The number of Covid-19 cases that seemed to stay put for some time is showing a sign of increase once again in Korea. Concerns over Korea entering another wave of Covid-19 in November are rising.

The Central Disaster Management Headquarters announced that the reproduction number, which indicates the number of additional infections caused by one Covid-19 patient, reached 1.9 from Monday to Thursday this week. A reproduction number greater than one means that the infection is spreading. The reproduction number exceeding 1 is the first time in 9 weeks since the peak of the sixth wave of the virus during the third week of August. The number of daily confirmed cases, which went down to the 10,000 mark early this month, increased to 24,571 on Friday.

Experts say subvariants more contagious than the dominant Omicron subvariant BA.5 are in competition. The winner of this competition will be leading the seventh wave of Covid-19 as a dominant strain. The most promising candidates are BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, which are currently spreading across the U.S. and Europe. They already take up 11 percent of the total infections in the U.S. In Korea, the number of infections caused by BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 is reported at six and 11, respectively.

The XBB variant, whose case reached 15 cases, is another challenge. The WHO said that the XBB variant is highly immune evasive compared to other 300 omicron subvariants.

“As Korea lifted the inbound travelers’ mandatory PCR test, the actual number of confirmed cases could be bigger than we think,” said Kim Woo-joo, a professor of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Korea University Guro Hospital.

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