S Korea reports 469 fresh Covid cases, tally at 96,849

South Korea has reported 469 new Covid-19 cases, pushing the country’s tally to 96,849, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said on Wednesday.

The daily caseload was sharply up from 363 on Tuesday. During the first two days of this week, the daily virus cases stayed in the 300s on account of fewer tests over the weekend.

In an effort to sharply flatten the virus curve, health authorities are planning to enhance the infection prevention measures at public facilities in the greater Seoul area, home to more than half of the country’s 52 million population, Yonhap reported.

The officials will check 11,873 public facilities, such as manufacturing facilities that hire foreign workers, public baths and national parks, in greater Seoul till March 28.

A total of 621,734 people were vaccinated in the country on Tuesday.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine accounted for 587,996, while Pfizer’s took up 33,738.

Under South Korea’s vaccination programme starting on February 26, a total of 12 million people will be inoculated for the April-June period. The country aims to achieve herd immunity by November.

A total of 9,003 cases of side effects after vaccinations have been reported, though 8,898 of them were mild symptoms.

A total of 16 deaths after vaccinations have been reported so far, according to the KCDC. But the agency said there was no causal relationship between the 14 deaths and the vaccinations.

Despite reported side effects of AstraZeneca’s vaccine in Europe, health authorities said that the rollout of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will continue as there is no evidence suggesting correlation between vaccines manufactured by British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University and reports of blood clots in some recipients.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), European Union’s medicine regulator, is set to announce its review on the reported cases later this week.

KDCA chief Jeong Eun-kyeong said in a parliamentary committee meeting that among those who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine, a suspected blood clot case was reported in the country.