With the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases surpassing 20 million, the government said that it will promote a “targeted quarantine,” which aims to intensively manage only venues with a high risk of infection.

“We have two years and seven months of experience with Covid-19 and a lot of data,” Second Vice Minister of Health and Welfare Lee Ki-il said during a press briefing. “We know where there are a lot of infection cases and how to prepare.”

Lee stressed that during the early days of the epidemic, the government put various restrictions due to uncertainty about the epidemiological characteristics of the virus.

“However, the difference now is that we have accumulated data and have vaccines, therapeutics, and medical response capabilities,” Lee said. “We will make every effort to use these resources so that the people can continue with their daily lives.”

Jung Ki-suck, a professor of pulmonary medicine at Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital who was appointed as the head of the Covid-19 response headquarters last Friday, explained that a targeted quarantine, like targeted chemotherapy, aims to screen only the necessary parts and avoid strict quarantine rules.

“This is not a major move or update from the government's current management for risk groups,” Jung said. “The previous decision to include those in their 50s and 18 years of age or older with underlying diseases as those eligible for the second booster shot is also a part of the targeted quarantine practice.”

Son Young-rae, a senior health ministry official, explained that the government will use in-depth data on the occurrence and change of confirmed cases and critically ill patients from the weekly Covid-19 risk analysis in carrying out targeted quarantine.

“By analyzing these data, the government will focus its quarantine response after analyzing groups that are at risk and how to prevent the occurrence of aggravation and mortality,” Son said.

On Wednesday, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) confirmed 119,922 new Covid-19 cases, raising the cumulative caseload to 20,052,305.

With the total caseload breaching the grim milestone of 20 million the day before, Wednesday's tally is also the highest daily infection case in nearly four months after the KDCA confirmed 125,822 new cases on April 15.

The nation also reported 26 more Covid-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 25,110. The fatality rate stood at 0.13 percent. In addition, the number of critically ill patients came to 284, down three from the previous day, the KDCA said.

Imported cases also continued to renew new highs with Korea reporting 600 imported cases on Wednesday. The number of imported cases has been in triple digits since June 24, after the government eased entry restrictions, such as quarantine exemption for inbound travelers.

Regarding Omicron subvariants, the country also confirmed five additional BA.2.75 cases on Wednesday, including two children under the age of 10, marking the first time that Korea has a confirmed case of BA.2.75 in the age group.

All the new cases were from overseas -- one from Nepal and four from India -- the KDCA said.

According to the KDCA, about 44.65 million among 52 million Koreans have been fully vaccinated. In addition, about 33.47 million people had received their first booster shots, and 5.79 million had their second booster shots.

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