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Experts' take on S. Korea's aim to gradually return to normal in November
Updated: 2021-10-15 17:23:06 KST
Authorities in South Korea are now aiming to take the first step towards living with the virus,
starting November.
There are roughly two weeks left until then.
And during that time,.. the government is aiming to fulfill two basic requirements of the transition.

First fully vaccinating 70 percent of the population.
Second keeping the infection rate under control meaning no dramatic surges.

But the question is are these possible.when restrictions get partially eased during. that two-week period, starting October 18th?

"70 percent vaccination rate is likely to be completed by late this month. And since the eased measures mostly apply only to vaccinated people, that won't necessarily lead to a surge in cases."

But, a potential spike cannot be ruled out completely, if people's movements increase drastically.
So what should the government do. in that case?

"Even if case numbers go up, if the number of severe cases would stay at a manageable level, the the country can go ahead with its transition plan."

"It would be ideal to implement the transition, after the number of severe cases and fatalities go down enough after 80 to 90 percent of population is fully vaccinated. I've been saying that the government could be rushing things a little bit."

The government is firm on pushing ahead with the transition plan, although it will decide the exact date cautiously, depending on the situation.
And it is likely to remain cautious, taking things slow, even after the transition.

"It is a gradual return to normal. And the government will slow things down when cases rise and speed things up when cases decline. In the worst case, it could even strengthen the measures to go in the opposite direction like Singapore."

In the meantime, experts say people should NOT expect any dramatic changes immediately.
They say,.. wearing masks is a must until the country gets to the last stage before returning to normal.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.
Reporter : kelee@arirang.com