With over 4-thousand infections reported on this Wednesday Korea has indeed been pushed into UNCHARTED TERRITORY.
For more I have Choi Min-jung here in the studio.
I have to admit though I thought Yeon-seung would be here today but I hear she's out in the field.
Thank you for having me, Sunny.
Min-jung let's begin with the Prime Minister's words earlier on this Wednesday regarding the latest situation.
Right, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum on Wednesday said an emergency action plan could be adopted for the capital region, if the situation doesn't improve.
If the plan comes into effect, the country's phased return to normal could be put on hold, making way for the return of social distancing rules that had been previously lifted.
Let's take a listen to what he said.
"The virus situation is more serious than we had expected. According to risk levels announced on Monday, the nationwide threat level was at "high", while the metropolitan area was at "very high. If you just look at the capital region, we may have to urgently consider adopting a contingency plan at any time."
Kim also stressed that it is crucial to free up more hospital beds to meet the needs of critically-ill patients in the capital region.
He called for an expansion of at home treatment for people with asymptomatic or mild infections to make more beds available for patients who need them.
"Although at home treatment is a major pillar of medical response, it has not yet been properly implemented. Last week, the proportion of home care patients was less than 20%, and it actually decreased compared to the previous week. If everyone who has mild or asymptomatic symptoms occupy a bed, the lives of patients who need intensive treatment will be threatened because they will not be able to get hospitalized."
More than 1,000 new patients in the capital region alone are now subject to home treatment.
This accounts for nearly one-third of all infections in the community reported nationwide on Wednesday.
With the growing number of people being treated outside the country's hospital networks, health authorities are looking for ways to better manage patients who are recovering at home.
Meanwhile despite the grim situation here I hear there is some positive news for those seeking to travel to Saipan?
That's right. People traveling to Saipan will no longer have to quarantine upon arrival.
Starting December 12th, Korean travelers arriving on the island will be exempt from the 5-day quarantine in their accommodations.
And of course, this only applies to those who have been fully vaccinated.
Korea and Saipan signed a travel bubble agreement in June, but self-isolation rules had remained in place.
The eased measures align with the latest U.S. travel guidelines, which provide quarantine exemptions for fully-vaccinated international travelers.
Thank you for now but I'll get back to you in a bit during our extended talks.