S.Korea: Moon says to halt further easing of distancing rules amid spiking infections

South Korea: In the face of rising Covid-19 infections, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has stated that the government will half further loosening of social distancing laws, speed up the administration of booster shots, and secure more hospital beds during the next four weeks.

Despite an increase in serious cases and infections, as well as concerns about the omicron variant, Moon made the remarks on Monday while presiding over a Covid response meeting, making it clear that the government will not wind down its first-phase measures aimed at returning to normalcy, according to reports..

"Hospital beds are in short supply due to an increase in the number of new patients and critically ill patients," Moon added. "We can't, however, go back in time by reversing the gradual return to normal life." The government's first phase of the "living with Covid-19" scheme, which began this month, has witnessed a dramatic increase in daily coronavirus infections in South Korea.

In late October, daily infections were hovering around 2,000, before some social distance requirements were relaxed. The number of daily infections reached over 4,000 last week. On Friday, the number of critically ill patients reached an all-time high of 629, raising concerns about a hospital bed scarcity.

After four weeks of the first-phase reduction of distance limits, South Korea had intended to ease the virus restrictions further in mid-December. However, as health officials cope with an increase in critical cases, the administration decided against further easing the laws.

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