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COVID-19 Contagion Through Individual Contact Increased 30% in Two Months: Government Expected to Extend Ban on Gatherings of Five or More People

Jo Hyeong-guk 입력 2021. 01. 15. 17:57

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[경향신문]

The government is expected to adjust the physical (social) distancing measure on January 16, but the ban on private gatherings of five or more people is expected to be maintained. Health authorities believe a certain level of distancing has to be maintained, because individual contacts were the main route of contagion in the third wave of the novel coronavirus.

According to the “Contagion Routes in the Past Two Weeks” released by the Central Disease Control Headquarters on January 14, 40.7% of COVID-19 cases were transmitted through personal contact with a previously confirmed patient, such as family, acquaintance, and colleagues at work. In October 2020, before the third wave, cases through individual contact only accounted for 12.4% of the cases, but that rate has increased by nearly 30% in just two months. Meanwhile, clusters of transmission in public facilities dropped from 55.6% to 21.8%. Unlike the first two waves of the virus, where massive clusters of transmission accounted for the majority of cases, the third wave showed that contagion occurred sporadically in our daily lives.

Authorities are expected to enforce a new level of distancing on January 18, but many believe they will maintain the current ban on private gatherings of five or more people. Health authorities believe the ban on private gatherings has played a major role in curbing the latest wave of the virus. Kwon Joon-wook, second deputy director of the Disease Control Headquarters said, “We were able to decrease the number of new COVID-19 cases without tightening distancing to level 3 by banning private gatherings of five or more people,” and explained, “If we ease the distancing, there always exists the possibility of another wave of the virus.” Kwon also said, “We have the lunar New Year holiday coming up when travel is expected to increase. And we also have to prepare for stable vaccination in February. So we need to maintain a certain level of distancing.”

The Disease Control Headquarters announced that as of midnight this day, authorities confirmed 524 new cases of COVID-19. The number of patients in connection to the BTJ Center for All Nations in Sangju, Gyeongsangbuk-do increased to 713. The health authorities believe that more than 1,300 people among the 3,000 that visited the center have yet to be tested.

People who tested COVID-19-positive claimed to have suffered from side-effects, such as hair loss, fatigue, and weaker lung functions three months after recovery and also complained of other symptoms as time passed.

According to the interim result of a study on the clinical side effects of COVID-19 released by the Central Disease Control Headquarters this day, people suffered from hair loss and shortness of breath when exercising three months after recovery and a relatively large number of people suffered from fatigue six months after recovery. Among the patients who experienced weaker pulmonary functions, some ended up with pulmonary fibrosis six months after recovery. The latest study was conducted by the Korea National Institute of Health and the National Medical Center, and researchers recorded the status of forty adult patients every three months.

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