Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun speaks at a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters at the government complex in Seoul on Friday, about measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. (Yonhap)
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Friday called for continued caution against COVID-19, pointing out that the number of confirmed cases sharply increased in the US and the UK shortly after vaccinations began.
South Koreans must stay vigilant despite high expectations for treatments and vaccines, Chung said.
“We need to see the fact that confirmed cases rose sharply in the early stage of vaccinations in countries such as the US and UK,” the prime minister said as he presided over a meeting of the Central Disaster Safety Countermeasures Headquarters.
“The basics of disease control such as wearing masks and social distancing must not falter until herd immunity is reached. We ask for your active participation and cooperation.”
The total number of confirmed cases in Korea had surpassed 80,000 as of Friday.
While infection clusters have declined in number, community transmission has increased, Chung said.
Mentioning a survey in which 1 out of 4 adults in the country said they did not plan to visit their hometowns during the Lunar New Year’s holidays, Chung thanked Koreans for their patience and cooperation.
“Nevertheless, many people appear to be planning to travel elsewhere instead of going home, with hotels already fully booked in major tourist sites. About 140,000 people including tourists are expected to visit Jeju over the New Year’s holidays,” he said.
“The third wave (of the pandemic) has not ended yet. We ask you to please refrain from traveling over the holidays.”
By Kim So-hyun (email@example.com