Korea's daily COVID-19 tallies appear to be SHOWING SIGNS of IMPROVEMENT BUT AUTHORITIES remain on HIGH ALERT AMID the POSSIBILITY of an ALARMING RESURGENCE FUELED by OMICRON which is PRECISELY the CASE in quite a number countries worldwide.
For more I have Doctor Kim Seung-taek from Institut Pasteur Korea.
Welcome back Doctor Kim.
I also have Professor CYRILLE COHEN at BAR-I-LAN University over in Israel LIVE on the LINE.
Professor Cohen it's a pleasure to see you again.
1) Doctor Kim some pundits are projecting Korea's daily tally could surge up to 20-thousand cases in mid-March IF OMICRON takes root on the local front.
Do you agree?
2) Doctor Kim Korea's current COVID-19 prevention guidelines are poised to end on the 16th of this month.
What needs to be considered PRIOR to MAKING a DECISION on the FATE of our current measures?
3) Professor Cohen I believe Israel is FIGHTING a FIFTH WAVE LED by OMICRON.
What can you tell us about the COVID-19 situation there?
4) And Professor Cohen what can you SHARE with us about the MEASURES in place to TACKLE this LATEST OUTBREAK?
5) Doctor Kim health officials here are looking to EXPAND the OPTION of RAPID HOME TESTS for ASYMPTOMATIC PATIENTS in line with preparations for a FRIGHTENING REBOUND in daily cases.
What are your thoughts on this particular measure?
6) Professor Cohen authorities in Israel for their part have announced CHANGES to their TESTING STRATEGY AS testing facilities have been OVERWHELMED by the OMICRON OUTBREAK.
Now this reportedly includes EXPANDING the EMPLOYMENT of RAPID ANTIGEN TESTS.
Are there any concerns over BROADENING the USE of this testing method?
((I understand certain types of tests have been earmarked for certain groups of people.))
7) Professor Cohen Israel is also PIONEERING a second booster shot campaign for those aged 60 and above those with pre-existing health conditions as well as healthcare workers.
What can you tell us about the EFFICACY of the 4th DOSE of the COVID-19 vaccine AND about the SIDE EFFECTS reported thus far?
8) Doctor Kim authorities here are looking into the possibility of a 4th dose to those who are IMMUNO-COMPROMISED.
What are your thoughts?
9) Doctor Kim Pfizer's anti-viral pill Paxlovid will arrive here this week.
What are your PROSPECTS on its IMPACT on Korea's COVID-19 containment efforts?
10) And Professor Cohen Israel has already RECEIVED its shipment of Paxlovid.
What has been the IMPACT of its USE within the medical arena?
11) Professor Cohen Israel reported the FIRST case of what has now become known as FLU-RONA.
What are your thoughts on the POTENTIAL RISK of a widespread TWINDEMIC?
12) Doctor Kim researchers in CYPRUS have reported a VARIANT that POSSESSES the TRAITS of both OMICRON and DELTA.
Now pundits in the U.K. claim the variant may be the result of a lab contamination.
What are your thoughts?