South Korea began fining people who fail to wear masks in public starting today as it reported 191 new coronavirus cases, with daily infections continuing to creep higher.
People caught without masks in public venues, including nightclubs, malls, theme parks and hair salons now face fines of up to 900 U.S. dollars while the operators of those places could pay up to 27-hundred dollars in fines.
But, the continuous rise in cases is a concern for the nation’s health authorities.

“If cases continue to increase, we may have to seriously consider raising the social distance measures. Already, Asan, Cheonan, Wonju and Suncheon have raised their measures to Level 1.5. We should remember that it’s not time to be complacent.”
Let’s talk about it. Joining us live in the studio is Dr. Jung Ki-suck, Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine at Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital.
Dr. Jung was formerly the director of Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

While the country had been praised for its response to the pandemic including aggressive testing and contact tracing, we’ve been struggling to contain small cluster outbreaks, with daily cases in the triple digits for days now.
What’s behind this continuous growth? Or are we being affected by the global resurgence in cases?

Now that we have a revised five-tier social distancing protocol, do you think the government needs to raise social distancing measures to 1.5 sooner than later? What does one.five distancing entail?

We’ve had great news this week of the Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate that’s showed interim analysis of 90-percent efficacy.
While we still have to wait for the study to conclude and distribution details to be sorted, but first, what are your reactions to this news?

Deputy director Kwon emphasized the importance of working-level preparations in order to achieve the goal of securing vaccines for 30 million people, which accounts for roughly 60% of the population.
Accordingly, the government is pursuing a two-track strategy in securing a third of the vaccines through the COVAX facility and the reamining 2-thirds through individual deals with global pharmaceutical companies.
In order to achieve the government’s goal of acquiring these does before the end of this year – that leaves less than 2 months, what needs to happen?

Another point of concern in acquiring the vaccine is price.
While BioNTech is expected to price its potential COVID-19 vaccine below “typical market rates”, they have also suggested that order size would impact the per-dose price in the developed world.
For the US, for instance, the first 100 million doses was priced at 19-50 per dose.
What price range can we expected doses to be for South Korea, and consequently the price patients will eventually have to pay?

As the former director of the KCDC, can you tell us the dynamic of what this pandemic has been requiring of the KCDC? or KDCA now.

U.S. president-elect Joe Biden has started the first week of his transition focused on the coronavirus as the total number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 10 million.
He announced his 13-member task force, entirely comprised doctors and health experts, which emphasizes his intent to seek a science-based approach in handling the pandemic.
This task force has three co-chairs: the surgeon general during the Obama administration, the Food and Drug Administration commissioner under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and the associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine.
What do you see key in the transfer of information between administrations’ health experts?

How helpful would it be that Dr. Anthony Fauci perhaps join the team after the transfer of power of president?

Dr. Jung Ki-suck, Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine at Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital and former director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many thanks for your insights this evening. We appreciate it.

Reporter : jenmoon@arirang.co.kr

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