South Korea Gives up Its Famous Testing
After two years, South Korea is dropping its famous test and trace system in the face of a massive omicron surge. A weekend spike of close to 40,000 daily infections, which officials predicted could reach up to 170k a day within a month, has made a sophisticated system impossible to maintain. On Monday, the government's Covid response team announced that speed virus transmission had compelled it to ditch the strategy for a more targeted approach. It focused on treating vulnerable groups like those over the 60s or 50s with underlying diseases. The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters said most of the Omicron cases were asymptomatic and mild. The current public health and medical system, which focuses equally on all confirmed cases, may have efficiency and lead to poor management of high-risk groups. At times, the tracing regime has been criticized as intrusive using CCTV, credit card details, and mobile phone locations to track the movements and contracts of potentially infected citizens. However, the unprecedented scale of the spread has rattled public nerves. However, a vaccination rate of nearly 86 percent, high booster take up. A relatively low number of severe cases has been used to justify restricting PCR testing to select groups and cutting hospitals to avoid overwhelming health systems. A new report by the Chinese researchers has suggested restoring normal population mobility in largely covid free regions like china would cause some two million deaths a year, advocating for better vaccines to prevent infection. The report's conclusion, published last Friday, illustrates the growing gulf between cautious Asian capitals and countries like Denmark, Australia, and the UK, which have abandoned their restrictions to learn to live with Covid-19. Souls' new strategy will straddle the two approaches keeping the border quarantines, mask mandates, and social distancing rules. Medical professionals have backed the government's new strategy but urged it to tread slowly. This is a critical step, and it is essential to do it to allow you to make assessments and corrections if necessary. What do you think?