This, while the government remains confident about stable vaccine supply and Korea’s goal of reaching herd immunity by November.
Joining us live via Skype is Dr. Jung Ki-suck, Professor of Medicine at Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital and previously the director of KCDC for further analysis on the pandemic situation.
Great to have you with us.
Daily new cases in Korea dropped to the 500 range in six days, but many experts warn we’ve already entered the fourth wave of covid. Do you project a major spike in figures, perhaps up to 1000s, like we’ve seen during the third wave?
Prime Minister Hong Nam-ki said Korea has secured covid vaccines for 99 million people, enough to cover double the entire population, showing confidence the country will reach herd immunity by November. He said Korea aims to inoculate 12 million people within the first half of this year. Do you think this is feasible given the unstable global vaccine supply and continuing blood clot problem in adenovirus-based vaccines?
The government is also keeping close tabs on Russia’s covid vaccine, Sputnik-V, in case the current procurement plan hits a major snag. While the WHO and the EMA are set to begin a joint review of the vaccine next month, what are your thoughts on the Russian vaccine? Will EU soon begin mass rollout the vaccine?
Seoul National University has begun rapid diagnostic covid tests today that show results in just about one hour. It’s a molecular diagnosis based on a technology called the ‘Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification’. Can you tell us how it works, and what’s your assessment of rapid tests’ credibility in general?
Things are spiraling out of control in India, adding nearly 350-thousand cases on Sunday alone. Many countries have already suspended flights entering from India. According to various reports, the surge is mainly due to the UK variant becoming dominant and the emergence of a new “double-mutant” variant. How do you see this?
Dr. Jung Ki-suck at Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital for us tonight, thank you for your expertise.