[Reuters, Seoul, 18th]–The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) announced on the 18th that the number of newly infected people with the new coronavirus reported in Japan reached 3,292, a record high.
Authorities and experts predicted an increase in the number of infected people as many social distance restrictions were lifted this month after the country achieved its goal of vaccination of 70% of its 52 million population. Currently, more than 78.5% of adults, including more than 90%, have completed vaccination.
According to KDCA, the increase in the number of severely ill people is due to the fact that the effects of vaccines provided early to the vulnerable, such as the elderly, have diminished, and breakthrough infections (infections after vaccination has been completed) have increased.
As of the 18th, there were 506 seriously ill patients. This is a slight decrease from the record high of 522 people reported the day before.
On the 17th, KDCA decided to shorten the interval of booster vaccination to 4 months for elderly people over 60 years old and those who live or work in facilities such as elderly housing with care. Announced.
Beds are rapidly filling up, especially in the Tokyo metropolitan area, and the vacancy of the intensive care unit (ICU) is only about 30% as of the 17th.
The KDCA says that if more than 75% of ICU beds nationwide are used, it will consider invoking a suspension measure for relaxation of restrictions.