Anchor: Concerns are rising over a new wave of COVID-19 in South Korea, after daily infections surpassed 300 for the first time in more than two months. The government, however, has no immediate plan to further heighten social distancing.
Choi You Sun reports.
Report: Infectious disease experts in South Korea say recent COVID-19 clusters show signs of a third wave of the epidemic, following the first in the southeastern city of Daegu and surrounding North Gyeongsang Province in February and the second in the capital region in August.
Dr. Lee Jae-kab from Hallym University Medical Center said the third wave began as early as three weeks ago, warning it will be challenging to curb the spread as the government's enhancing of social distancing in the capital region on Tuesday did not come quickly enough.
Dr. Choi Won-suk from Korea University Ansan Hospital cast concerns over an expected shortage of beds in the capital region to accommodate COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care.
According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency(KDCA) on Wednesday, 313 additional people tested positive, of which 245 were local infections.
Second Vice Health Minister Kang Do-tae stressed that the aim of heightened distancing is to turn the situation around in a bid to avoid resorting to Level Two. He urged the public to either cancel or delay gatherings of people for the next two weeks.
Kang, however, said it would be too early to consider the current situation a third wave and to further raise the distancing level.
The government, meanwhile, expects to secure vaccines from global pharmaceutical companies to administer to more than 20 million people, and another ten million through the global COVAX Facility that aims to ensure fair and equitable access.
The vice minister said his ministry will announce the details of its planned vaccine purchases within the month.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.