South Korea’s Hospitals Under Pressure As Cases Surge

 South Korea’s Hospitals Under Pressure As Cases Surge

South Korea says it has registered more than 4,000 new coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period – a record daily number.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum has described the situation as worse than expected and said emergency measures should now be considered in and around the capital, Seoul.

Hospitals across the country are said to be rapidly filling up with serious and critical cases and the prime minister urged older people to have their Covid booster jabs.

South Korea has seen a sharp rise in infections since the country began gradually lifting restrictions earlier this month as part of a “living with Covid-19” plan.

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Europe and parts of Asia could reach 2.2 million Covid deaths by March next year, the World Health Organization has warned.

It says another 700,000 more people could die from the disease by March 2022, based on current trends.

It’s been 623 days since the health body declared Covid a pandemic in March 2020, and the region has already recorded 1.5 million deaths.

Covid is currently the top cause of death in Europe, it says.

It also warned that 49 countries in the region will reach “high or extreme stress” in intensive care units by March.

New Zealand has unveiled its plans to reopen its borders and allow foreigners to enter the country next year.

Fully vaccinated visitors can enter from 30 April, and will have to self-isolate for seven days upon arrival.

More New Zealanders will also be allowed to travel home from early next year under similar rules.

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The move eases strict curbs that have locked out many citizens and tourists since borders were slammed shut at the start of the Covid pandemic.

Announcing the staged re-opening plans earlier this week, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said they were “the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed”.