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[IN-DEPTH] S. Korea to allow unvaccinated visitors at nursing hospitals, but mandatory quarantine remains
Updated: 2022-06-20 13:29:03 KST
As the number of newly cases of COVID-19 in the country continues to decline, starting Monday, South Korea will allow unvaccinated visitors at nursing hospitals.
Residents at these facilities are also free to go outside if they've had four vaccine shots or been infected after getting two shots.
However, authorities have decided to maintain the mandatory seven-day self-isolation for people infected with the coronavirus for another four weeks.

So how exactly is the current COVID-19 situation unfolding in the country? Can we assume we're on the right path?

For this we are joined via Skype by Dr. KIM Seung-taek, Virologist at Zoonotic Virus Lab, Institut Pasteur Korea via Skype.

1. What are your thoughts on the decision to keep the mandatory self-isolation period?
Do you think lifting it would see a dramatic rise in infections?

2. Lately, the KCDC said that some 95 percent of people in South Korea have immunity against COVID-19, but this doesn't mean that we have succeeded in achieving herd immunity. Why is this so?

3. Health authorities have revealed that for the past two years until early June, 83 people have been infected with COVID-19 three times.
For people who've been infected twice, the figure is over 68-thousand. Could this mean that the disease is now endemic and that anyone vaccinated or not could get infected multiple times?

4. More data by South Korean health authorities shows that a 4th COVID-19 shot prevents death by only 54.3 percent. Given the figures we've just heard, and that more people who're vaccinated could get infected again, at this point, how necessary do you think it is to get additional shots?

5. Evidence shows that vaccination rates for other infectious diseases have decreased. For example, vaccinations for Herpes Zoster dropped to half on-year in 2021 and Diplococcus pneumoniae dropped over 22 percent in 2020. How do you see the correlation and what vaccinations do you suggest our viewers to take as we approach summer?

Dr. Kim, thank you for your insights, we really appreciate them.
Reporter :