Editorial: Countries and cases

South Korea’s Health Minister said Monday that the Seoul metropolitan area is now a Covid-19 war zone, as the country reported another 615 new infections and the virus appeared to be spreading faster.

The country has recorded more than 5,300 new infections in the past 10 days and Monday was the 30th day in a row of triple-digit daily jumps. Most of the new infections were detected in the Seoul metropolitan area where health workers are struggling to stem transmissions tied to various places, including restaurants, schools, hospitals and long-term care facilities. The capital area is now a Covid-19 war zone, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said in a virus meeting, pleading for citizen vigilance.

Meanwhile, provincial governments across China, the birthplace of coronavirus, are placing orders for experimental, domestically made vaccines, though health officials have yet to say how well they work or how they may reach the country’s 1.4 billion people.

Developers are speeding up final testing, the Chinese Foreign Minister said during a UN meeting recently, as Britain approved emergency use of Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine candidate and providers scrambled to set up distribution. Even without final approval, more than 1 million health care workers and others in China who are deemed at high risk of infection have received experimental vaccines under emergency use permission. Developers have yet to disclose how effective their vaccines are and possible side effects.

Coming to India, the country’s coronavirus infections rose to 96.77 lakh, while the active caseload fell below 4 lakh and the recoveries surged to 91.39 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

The total coronavirus cases mounted to 96,77,203 with 32,981 new infections being reported in a day, while the death toll rose to 1,40,573 with 391 new fatalities, the data showed. There are 3,96,729 active coronavirus infections in the country which comprises 4.10 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 91,39,901 pushing the national recovery rate to 94.45 per cent, while the Covid-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.45 per cent. Despite its huge population and land area, India, it seems, is showing significant success when it comes to controlling the spread of the pandemic.


NT Bureau