The paper says the government should not give the wrong impression that it is time to lower our guard against Covid-19.
SEOUL - The first Covid-19 case was confirmed in South Korea on Jan 20, 2020. Since then, every aspect of Korean life has been drastically reshaped to grapple with the pandemic, and the public health authorities are still waging a tough fight to keep the virus under control.
The unprecedented pandemic has left a dreadful impact, having infected over 670 million people worldwide so far, around 6.7 million of whom died from the virus, according to the latest official data available. The actual fatalities, especially in China where Covid-19 data disclosure remains opaque, might be much higher than the official figures show.
Data on Covid-19 infections here show that nearly 30 million people have been infected, leaving at least 33,000 dead. Until now, seven waves of infection have hit the nation, forcing people at various times to wear masks both indoors and outdoors, start remote work and online classes, cut business hours and refrain from holding and attending public events.
Following strict social distancing rules, the majority of Koreans took vaccines to prevent Covid-19 infections, despite lingering worries about their side effects. The government actively took a variety of preventive measures to protect the public against the coronavirus. Not all Covid-19 policies proved effective, but it remains a fact that health authorities, medical professionals and individuals all worked together to contain the highly transmissible disease.
Thanks to the continued efforts, there are signs that people are steadily getting back to a normal life. Regular business hours have been restored. Most disease control measures have been lifted. The outdoor mask mandate was removed in September.
The indoor mask mandate is also expected to be lifted by the end of this month. The Expert Committee on Infectious Disease Crisis Management, an advisory body, said Wednesday that three out of four conditions for lifting compulsory indoor masking have been met, and the nation has already passed th...