clearn.png
Saturday May 28th, 2022 6:07AM

South Korea's virus surge exceeds 7,000 for 3rd straight day

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — New coronavirus infections in South Korea exceeded 7,000 for the third consecutive day on Friday in a record-breaking surge that has crushed hospitals and threatens the country’s goals to weather the pandemic without lockdowns.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said during a virus meeting that the country could be forced to take “extraordinary” measures if the virus doesn’t slow soon. Officials issued administrative orders requiring hospitals around the country to designate 2,000 more beds combined for COVID-19 treatment.

Kim said the government will also speed up the administration of booster shots by shortening the interval period between the second and third vaccine injections from the current four or five months to three months starting next week.

The delta-driven spread in recent weeks has been accompanied by a spike in hospitalizations and deaths, many among people in their 60s or older whose immunities have waned after being inoculated early in the vaccine rollout that began in February.

Officials tightened restrictions starting Monday, banning private social gatherings of seven or more people in the greater capital area and requiring adults to verify their vaccination status at restaurants and other indoor venues. But Kim said such measures haven’t yet showed an effect in slowing transmissions.

“If it becomes clear that we aren’t succeeding in reversing this crisis situation within the next few days, the government will have no other choice but to employ extraordinary anti-virus measures, including strong social distancing,” said Kim, South Korea’s No. 2 behind President Moon Jae-in.

Deputy Health Minister Lee Ki-il said officials may further reduce the limit on social gatherings and restore business-hour restrictions at restaurants and bars that were lifted in November if things continue to look bad next week.

“We will try our best to avoid a lockdown,” Lee said during a briefing.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said around 5,300 of the 7,022 new cases reported Friday were from capital Seoul and the nearby metropolitan area, where the virus has hit hardest. The country’s death toll is now at 4,130 after 53 virus patients died in the past 24 hours, while 852 others were in serious or critical conditions.

South Korea has also tightened its borders to fend off the new omicron variant since identifying its first cases last week that were linked to arrivals from Nigeria. The KDCA said health workers confirmed three more omicron infections on Friday, brining the tally to 63.

Scientists say it's not yet clear whether omicron is more contagious or dangerous than previous strains of the virus.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Health, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Vikings beat Steelers 36-28, deny last-play pass in end zone
The Minnesota Vikings held on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-28 by forcing an incomplete pass in the end zone on the final play
1:18AM ( 19 minutes ago )
South Korea's virus surge exceeds 7,000 for 3rd straight day
New coronavirus infections in South Korea have exceeded 7,000 for the third consecutive day in a record-breaking surge that has crushed hospitals and threatens the country’s goals to weather the pandemic without lockdowns
1:14AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Asia stocks follow Wall St lower ahead of US inflation data
Asian stock markets have followed Wall Street lower ahead of U.S. inflation data that might influence a Federal Reserve decision on when to roll back economic stimulus
12:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Court rejects Trump's efforts to keep records from 1/6 panel
A federal appeals court has ruled against an effort by former President Donald Trump to shield documents from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol
12:11AM ( 1 hour ago )
Biden to focus on elections, media as democracy summit wraps
President Joe Biden is looking to close his two-day virtual Summit for Democracy by shining a spotlight on election integrity, countering authoritarian regimes and bolstering independent media
12:08AM ( 1 hour ago )
Jurors at Potter trial see Daunte Wright shooting aftermath
Prosecutors at a former Minnesota police officer’s trial in the shooting of Daunte Wright played extensive video of the aftermath
12:08AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Bama’s Young is AP Player of the Year; UGA’s Davis wins two awards
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young has been voted The Associated Press college football player of the year
9:03PM ( 4 hours ago )
DEA agent gets 12 years for conspiring with Colombian cartel
A once-standout U.S. narcotics agent who used his badge to build a lavish lifestyle of luxury cars and Tiffany jewelry has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for conspiring to launder money with a Colombian cartel
8:36PM ( 5 hours ago )
Jussie Smollett's attorney says will appeal guilty verdict
A jury has convicted Jussie Smollett on five of six charges he staged a racist, anti-gay attack on himself and lied to Chicago police about it
8:12PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online National News
In a first, Starbucks workers agree to union in Buffalo, NY
Starbucks workers at a store in Buffalo, New York, voted to unionize on Thursday, a first for the 50-year-old coffee retailer in the U.S. and the latest sign that the labor movement is stirring after decades of decline
6:05PM ( 7 hours ago )
Jury reaches verdict in trial of actor Jussie Smollett
A jury has reached a verdict in the trial of actor Jussie Smollett on charges he staged a racist, anti-gay attack on himself and lied to Chicago police about it
5:50PM ( 7 hours ago )
Biden calls on leaders to end 'backward slide' of democracy
President Joe Biden has expressed alarm about a “backward slide” of democracy around the globe at a virtual Summit for Democracy
5:03PM ( 8 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Brazil to quarantine unvaccinated airline visitors
Brazil will require international travelers who aren't vaccinated against the coronavirus to quarantine for five days in their city of destination after arriving by plane
4:42PM ( 9 hours ago )
Pandemic nurse shortage: Kentucky gov declares an emergency
Kentucky's governor has declared an emergency over the state's chronic nursing shortage amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
4:41PM ( 9 hours ago )
Sienna Miller settles phone hacking claim against tabloid
Actor Sienna Miller has accepted “substantial” damages from the publisher of British tabloid newspaper The Sun which she accuses of hacking her phone and leaking news of her pregnancy
1:20PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Health
Taiwan loses diplomatic ally Nicaragua to China
Taiwan has lost Nicaragua as a diplomatic ally after the Central American country said it would officially recognize only China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory
11:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
Australian military switches from European to US helicopters
Australia’s military says it plans to ditch its fleet of European-designed Taipan helicopters and instead buy U.S. Black Hawks and Seahawks because the American machines are more reliable
11:26PM ( 2 hours ago )
Biden assures Ukraine's leader of US support to deter Russia
President Joe Biden has reached out to Ukraine’s leader as the United States moves to take a more direct role in diplomacy between that country and Russia
7:10PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP World News
Asia stocks follow Wall Street lower as rally cools
Asian stock markets have followed Wall Street lower as a rally cooled and investors waited for U.S. inflation data that might influence a Federal Reserve decision on when to roll back economic stimulus
10:26PM ( 3 hours ago )
California pushes composting to lower food waste emissions
Food waste is California's next target as the state seeks to lower greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change
8:12PM ( 5 hours ago )
Senate passes bill easing way for debt limit increase
The Senate has passed a fast-track plan for raising the debt limit
6:50PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business
Vote shock in Chávez homeland underscores Venezuela's divide
Farmer Julio Álvarez hasn’t sold milk in about a year and a half even though the cows at his farm in northwestern Venezuela are milked every day
11:28AM ( 14 hours ago )
Average US long-term mortgage rates hold firm another week
The average interest rate on a long-term mortgage in the U.S. held firm again this week
10:05AM ( 15 hours ago )
China tightens control to restrain currency's rise
China’s central bank is trying to restrain the rise of the yuan after the currency hit a 2 1/2-year high against the dollar
9:22AM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
EXPLAINER: Must employers follow Biden's vaccine mandates?
Tens of millions of workers across the U.S. are in limbo as federal courts have put President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandates affecting private companies on hold
1:52PM ( 1 day ago )
$56K Alzheimer’s drug avoiding Biden’s cost curbs, for now
A new $56,000-a-year Alzheimer’s medication that’s leading to one of the biggest increases ever in Medicare premiums is highlighting the limitations of President Joe Biden’s strategy for curbing prescription drug costs
12:54PM ( 1 day ago )
Pfizer says COVID booster offers protection against omicron
Pfizer says a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine appears to offer important protection against the new omicron variant
12:27PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Vikings beat Steelers 36-28, deny last-play pass in end zone
The Minnesota Vikings held on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-28 by forcing an incomplete pass in the end zone on the final play
1:18AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Asia stocks follow Wall St lower ahead of US inflation data
Asian stock markets have followed Wall Street lower ahead of U.S. inflation data that might influence a Federal Reserve decision on when to roll back economic stimulus
12:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
Anti-vaccine group targets California's medical director
The president of California’s medical board says a group of anti-vaccine activists stalked her at home and followed her to her office where four men confronted her after work in a dark parking garage
12:16AM ( 1 hour ago )
US commander: Al-Qaida numbers in Afghanistan up 'slightly'
The top U.S. commander in the Middle East says the al-Qaida extremist group has grown slightly inside Afghanistan since U.S. forces left in late August
12:13AM ( 1 hour ago )
The AP Interview: General says US troops to remain in Iraq
The top U.S. commander for the Middle East says the U.S. will keep the current 2,500 troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future, despite their shift to a non-combat role, and they will still provide air support and other military support for Iraq’s continuing fight against the Islamic State
12:11AM ( 1 hour ago )