Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency(KDCA) Commissioner Jeong Eun-kyeong has admitted the possibility COVID-19 could become an endemic.
In an online media briefing on Thursday, Jeong said that the virus may not be an infectious disease that can be rooted out with just one or two vaccination as in the case of smallpox and polio, but one that can break out every year at least for the time being.
She said COVID-19 can continue creating variants that cause sporadic waves of infections.
Even if the government successfully keeps it under control, the KDCA chief said, infections and variants overseas could pose continuous risks to the country.
Regarding when the nation will be able to reduce daily cases to fewer than 100, Jeong said it depends on how well people abide by distancing and quarantine protocols and cooperate on vaccination, expecting the daily tally will fall in the second half of the year given the progress of inoculations.