Moon to preside over Covid response meeting

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will preside over a Covid-19 response meeting on Monday as the nation is grappling with a surge in daily infections driven by highly transmissible Omicron variant, according to the presidential office on Sunday.

It will be the first time in about six months that Moon presides over a virus response meeting, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Due to the rapid spread of the highly contagious variant, South Korea has set daily records, but deaths have remained relatively low.

The daily cases exceeded 38,000 on Sunday and the accumulated virus caseload surpassed 1 million, two years after the country reported its first Covid-19 case.

To efficiently cope with the spread of omicron, South Korea enforced a new virus response system, including an expansion of rapid testing and a reduction of self-isolation periods.

The new system is aimed at minimising disruptions and focusing on reducing critical cases and deaths.

Under the new system, small hospitals and clinics administer tests and treat patients, and rapid antigen tests replace polymerase chain reaction tests at testing sites, except for those aged over 60 or high-risk groups.

During the Monday meeting, Moon is expected to encourage small hospitals to participate in the new system.

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