Anticipating a “twindemic” in the fall and winter of this year, when a severe flu outbreak will coincide with the Covid-19 pandemic, quarantine authorities are making preparations for countermeasures.
According to a Central Disease Control Headquarters official, I’m Sook-young, “there is a high possibility of simultaneous outbreaks of Covid-19 and influenza.” The government is currently working on a response plan, which will include influenza vaccination, and will be made public shortly.
Korean officials claim that the country has avoided a seasonal flu epidemic for the past two years thanks to the implementation of social distancing rules and a reduction in face-to-face activities following the Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020.
In light of the ongoing Covid-19 epidemic, health officials are worried that the public’s immunity to the influenza virus will be low, increasing the likelihood that both diseases will spread at the same time.
“Respiratory infections are more likely to spread as the winter season involves more indoor activities,” I said. “We have confirmed an early outbreak of the influenza pandemic in the southern hemisphere, such as Australia and New Zealand, and Korea is also closely monitoring whether an influenza outbreak will break out soon,” the statement reads.
As the summer resurgence began before experts had predicted, health officials are worried that another winter Covid-19 surge may be on the horizon.
We thought the Covid-19 uptick would occur in the fall and winter, but it actually began in the summer, as I put it. Therefore, we anticipate the next viral outbreak will occur after that. For the time being, I’m emphasizing, that the situation on Covid-19 in Korea would not change.
The current epidemic is declining, and if there are no major variables, such as the spread of new mutations, the situation will remain stable, I said. To a certain extent, immunity has been formed in the population, and drastic changes are not likely in the near future.
Furthermore, I’m added, the government anticipates that the number of severe cases and deaths, which appear two to three weeks after the number of new confirmed cases, will continue to decrease in the future.
The number of daily new cases of Covid-19 moderately decreased from the previous week, falling below 100,000 on Tuesday. The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 increased to 23,706,477, with the newest additions numbering 99,837 (including 273.) from outside of Korea.
The KDCA reported that the death toll in the country rose by 44 on May 1, the highest number since April 29. Rates of fatality were 0.12%. Patients in critical condition remained high at 536, although this was a decrease of 26 from the previous day.
A slowdown in the spread of the virus has been reported, but health officials have stressed that the public should remain vigilant because of the increased risk of transmission due to the anticipated increase in travel during the four-day Chuseok holiday beginning this Friday.
The KDCA estimates that 44.66 million of Korea’s 52 million residents have received all recommended vaccinations. An additional 33.56 million people had received their initial booster shot, while another 7.25 million had received their second.