Digital Desk, Seoul. South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Saturday called for an increase in booster shots for the elderly. The country is struggling to cope with its outbreak, including cases of the new Omicron variant. According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), 6,977 new cases of coronavirus were reported in the country in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 510,538. According to the Yonhap news agency report, the number of seriously infected rose to 856 on Saturday, up from four the day before, while 80 people died in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 4,210.
The KDCA reported 12 new cases of the new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, taking the total to 75. “Please focus on accelerating (booster shot inoculation) for seniors in regional communities,” Moon said in a phone conversation with Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum. Moon asked Kim to better explain to the public the need to vaccinate young people based on scientific data. The decision comes amid growing public backlash against the government’s plan to expand the Vaccine Pass scheme to adolescents next year. The KDCA said 83.6 per cent of the country’s 52 million population have received at least one vaccine dose, while 81.1 per cent have been fully vaccinated and 11.8 per cent have received their booster shots.
The government plans from February 2022 that not only adults but also children between the ages of 12 and 18 are required to present a corona vaccination or negative certificate in all places, including public study rooms and schools. The government announced last week with stricter gathering restrictions following the outbreak of the new virus and amid student infections. But it drew strong reactions from students and parents, arguing that the measures force minors to be vaccinated. The government on Monday imposed strict rules to prevent the rapid spread of the coronavirus and the Omicron variant. The new measures will be in effect until January 2, 2022, with private gatherings limited to six in the maximum Seoul area and eight in the rest of the country. More commercial facilities will now require tourists to show full vaccination or a negative corona test report. The so-called Vaccine Pass system includes newly added restaurants, coffee shops, cram schools and Internet cafes.
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