A new mutant virus called Omicron is showing signs of outbreak as more than 5,000 new confirmed cases are pouring in nationwide a day.
The same is true of North Chungcheong Province. Since this month, there are more than 70 confirmed cases every day. On the 2nd, 97 people were infected, the second in history and the highest number in a day this year.The quarantine authorities pulled out a card called ‘Additional follow-up measures for special quarantine measures’. Like social distancing in the past, it is a measure that imposes some restrictions on daily life. A typical example is the ΔLimitation of private gatherings ΔExpansion of facilities subject to the quarantine pass ΔThe 12-18 year old youth quarantine pass.
From the 6th, the number of private gatherings will be limited to 6 in the metropolitan area and 8 in non-metropolitan areas. Compared to the first stage of gradual daily recovery, the number of people decreased by 4 each.
Due to restrictions, year-end and New Year events are also expected to be significantly reduced. Already, some companies and clubs have detected a movement to cancel or adjust the meeting schedule.
A 36-year-old woman who runs a business with less than 20 employees in Jincheon-gun said, “We had an executive and employee meeting on the 17th, but we decided to cancel it after seeing the announcement of tightening restrictions on private gatherings. I don’t think we will be able to hold an exchange event.”
Ms. Jeong (42, Cheongwon-gu, Cheongju), an office worker group manager, said, “As soon as the gradual recovery of daily life was implemented, we decided to hold a year-end regular meeting by asking the members for and against, but I don’t know what to do because of the restrictions on private meetings. “I plan to decide whether to postpone or cancel it,” he said.
Measures to expand facilities subject to quarantine (vaccine) pass are also sending a considerable shock wave.
The number of mandatory facilities has increased from 5 to 16. Newly included restaurants, cafes, academies, movie theaters and performance halls, multi-rooms (excluding arcades), PC rooms, (indoor) sports stadiums, museums, art galleries, science centers, party rooms, libraries, and massage and massage parlors.
In non-metropolitan areas including Chungbuk, exceptions are allowed for up to one person who is not vaccinated within the scope of private gatherings (8 people).
Restaurant districts, which were aimed at the year-end and New Year holidays, are struggling with special quarantine measures, including restrictions on private gatherings and quarantine passes.
Mr. Lee (35, Jincheon-eup), who runs a restaurant specializing in Korean beef with 200 seats or more, said, “At the end of the year, there are family customers as guests, but there is also a lot of demand for business dinners, so at least 10 people per team. In reality, we are in a situation where we will not be able to receive group guests,” he said.
He continued, “As it is included in the quarantine pass facility, I have to check whether or not each customer is vaccinated, which adds to my work,” he said.
Adjusting the exception range for the youth quarantine pass is considered a factor that raises anxiety among parents.
The quarantine authorities have expanded the exception of the existing quarantine pass (under the age of 18) to 12 to 18 years old. After an 8-week grace period, it will come into effect on February 1 next year.
In recent years, there have been several cases of deaths due to adverse reactions after vaccination.
Moreover, as nearly half of the confirmed cases are classified as ‘breakthrough infections’, voices are rising that it is difficult to recommend vaccinations to children with side effects and unproven vaccines.
Mo Kim (36, female), a parent of a second-year middle school student in the province, asked, “Can you recommend vaccination to your children in a situation where side effects continue to occur and a large number of confirmed patients are infected even after receiving the vaccine?”
Kim emphasized, “Even adults do not know, but adolescents should be advised to vaccinate only after vaccine safety has been secured.”
The cumulative number of confirmed cases in the province is 9039 (as of 0 am on the 3rd). As of the previous day, 92 people had died and 8,496 recovered.
The ratio of critically ill patients (8 patients) to those under quarantine (451 patients) was 1.77%. Of the total 719 beds, 578 were used, resulting in a utilization rate of 80.4%. The utilization rate of beds for critically ill patients is 96.9%.
As for the vaccine, 1,352,302 people (85.0% of the population of 1.59 million) completed the first dose. Completion of vaccination was 1,307,212 people (82.2%).
(Cheongju = News 1)
Source: 동아닷컴 : 동아일보 전체 뉴스 by www.donga.com.
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