We start with the coronavirus situation in the country.
South Korea has now reported more than a thousand daily COVID-19 cases for three days in a row.
As the crisis worsens, health authorities are continuing their push to secure as many vaccines as possible.
In fact, they provided more details about their plans in a briefing that wrapped up around an hour ago.
For more, we have our Choi Won-jong on the line.
Wonjong, what can you tell us?

Mark, today’s briefing was more about the South Korean government being transparent with the public on the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s part of what they said. Let’s take a listen

“We already signed a purchase deal with AstraZeneca, and we will complete the contract with Janssen as early as next week. Pfizer is currently under the review.”

And, the official reiterated the government’s previous pledge that they will secure enough vaccines for 44 million people.
They said AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine will be the first vaccine introduced in the first quarter of 2021.
However, the briefing did not mention any specific schedules like inoculation dates due to non-disclosure agreements with the suppliers.

Wonjong, moving away from the vaccine situation. We can see the virus taking a stronger grip on South Korea. We have now seen three days in a row with a thousand-plus cases

That’s right. On Friday, South Korea confirmed an additional one,sixty-two COVID-19 cases.
It marks the third straight day that the new daily caseload has been in the four digits.
All but 26 were locally transmitted.
Seoul alone had 3-hundred 98 new cases.
This brings the total national caseload to more than 47-thousand.
Eleven more people died.
Pointing out some of the major clusters, multiple cases were found at local saunas16 in Jeju and 11 in Chungcheongbuk-do Province.
We continue to see large cluster infections at churches in Seoul and Chungcheongnam-do Province.
The government is still cautiously monitoring the situation and deciding whether to raise social distancing levels to the highest tier.
There are concerns such a move would do tremendous economic damage.
However, health authorities are urging people to follow prevention guidelines before they decide on their next move with local government officials and experts.
That’s all I have for you now. Back to you, Mark.

Reporter : peterwjchoi@arirang.com


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