‘Quarantine K’ faces crisis amid fourth wave of infections
July. 15. 2021
‘Quarantine K’ faces crisis amid 4th wave of infections
|People working at the National Assembly wait to take COVID-19 tests at a temporary testing center set up at the Assembly’s sports field on Thursday. Yonhap|
Calls on the rise to dismiss presidential secretary for disease control
By Jun Ji-hye
“K-quarantine” measures, anti-virus regulations hailed by the government as the most effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, now appear to face a crisis amid the recent spike in new cases that has been called the most effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. fourth wave of COVID -19 infections here.
The administration is now criticized for causing confusion in its vaccine reservation system and slow vaccination rates, in addition to its lethargic response to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus when signs of the spread were made. detected in June.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) on Wednesday reported 1,600 new cases of COVID-19, including 1,555 local, bringing the total number of cases to 173,511.
The daily figures have remained above 1,000 for nine straight days, and the latest figure was the second highest since the pandemic erupted here in January last year, with the record set the previous day at 1,615.
The government resumed vaccine reservations for people aged 55 to 59 on Wednesday evening, two days after the system was abruptly suspended due to a lack of vaccines – around 3.52 million people were in the bracket of age but the government had only obtained vaccines for 1.85 million.
Even after resuming, many people experienced a connection delay of about an hour due to system instability, with some seeing messages such as “Please wait 144 hours for connection” or “This site is unreachable” .
To minimize the confusion, the government has decided to further subdivide the age groups, allowing people aged 53 to 54 to reserve their vaccines from 8 p.m. next Monday, and those aged 50 to 52 from 8 p.m. the next day.
But avoiding confusion remains an issue as many people are expected to attempt to access systems on the first day of reservations amid growing concerns over an unstable vaccine supply.
“We will mobilize all possible means to resolve the difficulties related to vaccine reservations,” KDCA commissioner Jeong Eun-kyeong said Wednesday at a briefing, apologizing for the confusion.
The unstable vaccine supply has also led to slow vaccination rates.
According to the KDCA, 30.8% of the entire population here received at least their first injections of the vaccine on Wednesday, up just 1.4 percentage points from the 29.4% recorded on June 24. , despite an explosive increase in infections.
Representative Kim Gi-hyeon, the leader of the main conservative opposition People Power Party (PPP), criticized the government’s self-praise Moon Jae-in for the “K-quarantine”, named after the K-pop which has gained popularity around the world.
“A lack of vaccines and confusion in vaccine reservations are the real face of the Moon government’s K quarantine,” he said at a party meeting on Thursday.
In particular, opposition parties are pressuring President Moon to dismiss Ki Mo-ran, the presidential secretary for disease control and prevention affairs, holding her responsible for the current crisis.
Jeju Governor Won Hee-ryong, one of the PPP presidential candidates, questioned Ki’s ability to act as a control tower in disease control and prevention affairs.
“President Moon should abolish the post and let the KDCA assume the role,” he wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
Since the position of Secretary for Disease Control was created and Ki’s appointment in April, she has come under fire from opposition parties for her previous remarks which seemed to underestimate the importance of a rapid supply of COVID-vaccines. 19 here.
|Ki Mo-ran, the Presidential Secretary for Disease Control and Prevention Affairs, attends a COVID-19 meeting in Cheong Wa Dae in this May 3 photo. Korea Times photo by Wang Tae-seok|
In response, Cheong Wa Dae attempted to protect Ki.
Presidential Secretary for Public Communication Park Soo-hyun said in a radio appearance on Wednesday that Ki’s role was not that of a control tower for disease control and prevention affairs. , but a “bridge” between Cheong Wa Dae and related organizations in charge of anti-virus measures. .
âThere has been no conflict between Cheong Wa Dae and related organizations,â he said.
Although the government has imposed its strictest Level 4 social distancing measures in the Seoul metropolitan area to contain the fourth wave of infections, experts said the country will see a continued increase in cases at this time due to the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. of the coronavirus.
Cheon Eun-mi, pulmonologist at Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital, expected the number of daily cases to rise to over 2,000 next week, calling on the government to do more.
“The government should improve its anti-virus measures. In particular, it will need to increase social distancing measures in areas outside of Seoul Metropolitan Area to Level 3, as the current Level 2 rules will not be sufficient,” a- she declared.