Yoon calls for minimizing COVID-19 deaths while continuing return to normal

SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) — President Yoon Suk-yeol instructed officials Friday to work to minimize serious cases of COVID-19 and related deaths while continuing the push for a return to normal.

The remark came as South Korea has been grappling with a surge in new cases driven by the omicron subvariant BA.5. The country added 85,320 infections Friday in a 20 percent jump from a week earlier while reporting 35 COVID-19 deaths and 234 critically ill patients.

“Recently we have seen the spread of a virus variant that is highly transmissible and capable of dodging immunity, and the resurgence is progressing at a faster-than-expected pace,” Yoon said during a government COVID-19 response meeting, which is typically presided over by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo.

“This administration’s goal in the fight against the virus is to minimize serious cases and deaths while maintaining the policy of a return to normal,” he said.

The president instructed health authorities to come up with thorough measures to address people’s inconvenience, including the lack of testing centers and the high cost of tests, and to make utmost efforts to secure enough updated vaccines, treatments and hospital beds.

He also promised that a new advisory panel launched by the government this month with the participation of health experts will do its best to provide targeted and precise measures against the virus.

“The government will do everything in its power to protect the people’s safety and everyday life,” Yoon said, asking that the people also faithfully follow the government’s antivirus guidelines and that the health authorities communicate objective and scientific policy decisions to the people.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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