In South Korea, discussions have begun to increase over the transition to "with corona," which aims to coexist with the virus by easing restrictions on COVID-19 virus infection countermeasures.
President Moon Jae-in suggested on the 6th that there is a possibility of switching to a with corona-style epidemic prevention system. At a meeting held at Cheong Wa Dae on this day, President Mun said, "Since vaccination is progressing, if the situation regarding Corona calms down, we will seek to see if a shift to a new epidemic prevention system that harmonizes epidemics with daily life can be done."
Jeong Eun-Kyeong, director of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, which controls corona measures in South Korea, said on the 7th that it would be possible to consider switching to with corona from the end of October.
According to a survey of 1,000 adult men and women conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (the department is equivalent to the Ministry of Japan) from the 30th of last month for three days, 73.3% of the respondents answered that they "agree" with the conversion to with corona.
However, Cheong Wa Dae is concerned about the excessive expectations of the public for "with corona." According to the South Korean newspaper "Herald Economy," Cheong Wa Dae officials said in an interview with the newspaper that "the transition to 'with corona' will not immediately return to pre-2020 levels. It does not mean that the obligation to wear masks will be removed or that the obligation to comply with the epidemic prevention rules will be lifted" he said.
There is a reason why Cheong Wa Dae and the government are cautious about the transition to 'With Corona'. In late May, the South Korean government's Central Epidemic Prevention Headquarters announced a "daily recovery support plan for vaccinated persons" that included vaccine incentives.
In order to encourage vaccination, only citizens who completed the first vaccination lifted the obligation to wear masks outdoors from July 1st, but due to the spread of infection, it was withdrawn in just 4 days in the metropolitan area. The mitigated epidemic prevention level has also been raised. It is undeniable that the government's mitigation measures have eased public awareness of infection control measures.
The momentum of infection increased from July, and the number of newly infected persons exceeded 2000 for the first time in August. Even now, the number of infected people continues to be high, especially in the Tokyo metropolitan area, and the number of newly infected people on the 7th was 2050, exceeding 2000 for the first time in 7 days.
Even under these circumstances, the transition to “with corona” is becoming more and more eagerly awaited by the people, but Cheong Wa Dae officials responded to an interview with the Herald economy saying, “The greater the public's expectations for 'with corona', the greater the disappointment may be."
At present, the South Korean government has not yet come up with specific details regarding the transition to with corona. According to the newspaper, the government has declared with corona while maintaining the obligation to wear masks, and it seems that it is considering the example of Singapore, which is evaluated as a successful model.
In any case, it is necessary to make a careful judgment based on the vaccination rate and infection status.
On the other hand, in Japan as well, the government is considering easing behavioral restrictions in November on the premise of progress in vaccination. The policy is to allow people to move across prefectures, hold large-scale events, and serve alcoholic beverages at restaurants, provided that they have been vaccinated.
However, there are voices of concern, and Toshio Nakagawa, chairman of the Japan Medical Association, said at a press conference on the 8th, "I am worried that (public awareness) will be relaxed by making an announcement at this time. It should not be a trigger for re-expansion. It's not necessarily the opposite" he said, but "there is a question of whether it's time to go."
It is the same in both Korea and Japan that the cycle of spreading the infection again has been repeated as the public awareness loosens when the infection tends to decrease. On the other hand, the reality that a tense life is reaching its limit is similar to that of Japan and South Korea.
Although they are neighboring countries, South Korea and Japan are strangely similar to the waves of the corona. Both governments are required to make difficult decisions.
Published : 2021/09/14 21:13 KST
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