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OMICRON VARIANT SPARKS ENTRY BAN
입력 2021.11.29 (15:15) 수정 2021.11.29 (16:46) News Today
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[Anchor Lead]

Korea has banned entry to travelers from eight countries, including South Africa, amid concerns over the Omicron variant. The government plans to expand restrictions if the Omicron variant spreads further, and develop new testing methods to detect the new variant early on.

[Pkg]

Foreign travelers from eight southern African countries including Botswana and Zimbabwe are banned from entering South Korea. The rule also applies to foreign nationals who arrive via other countries, as there are no direct flights between Korea and the eight nations. Korean nationals arriving from the eight countries must quarantine in designated facilities for ten days regardless of vaccination. As the Omicron variant is being detected in more and more regions worldwide, the government plans to expand the list of countries subject to restrictions after grasping how dangerous and contagious the new variant is.

[Soundbite] Prof. Kim Woo-joo(Korea University Guro Hospital) : "The next 2 to 3 weeks will be critical. It will become clear if the new variant spreads around the world or vanishes. If it disappears, it would be okay to ease restrictions. But for now we should keep our guards up."

Authorities decided to develop a PCR testing method that can detect the Omicron variant. The existing testing method can detect only four variants, including Delta. Once the new testing method is supplied, it will reduce the virus verification period to 1 day from the current 3-5 days. There are concerns the Omicron variant could evade the existing Covid-19 vaccines because it has dozens of spike protein mutations. The spike protein is where antibodies bind to. It will take about two weeks to find out through lab tests if the existing vaccines are effective against the new variant. The prevailing opinion is that oral pills for treating the coronavirus should also work against the Omicron variant because they block virus replication, not the spike protein.
  • OMICRON VARIANT SPARKS ENTRY BAN
    • 입력 2021-11-29 15:15:46
    • 수정2021-11-29 16:46:10
    News Today
[Anchor Lead]

Korea has banned entry to travelers from eight countries, including South Africa, amid concerns over the Omicron variant. The government plans to expand restrictions if the Omicron variant spreads further, and develop new testing methods to detect the new variant early on.

[Pkg]

Foreign travelers from eight southern African countries including Botswana and Zimbabwe are banned from entering South Korea. The rule also applies to foreign nationals who arrive via other countries, as there are no direct flights between Korea and the eight nations. Korean nationals arriving from the eight countries must quarantine in designated facilities for ten days regardless of vaccination. As the Omicron variant is being detected in more and more regions worldwide, the government plans to expand the list of countries subject to restrictions after grasping how dangerous and contagious the new variant is.

[Soundbite] Prof. Kim Woo-joo(Korea University Guro Hospital) : "The next 2 to 3 weeks will be critical. It will become clear if the new variant spreads around the world or vanishes. If it disappears, it would be okay to ease restrictions. But for now we should keep our guards up."

Authorities decided to develop a PCR testing method that can detect the Omicron variant. The existing testing method can detect only four variants, including Delta. Once the new testing method is supplied, it will reduce the virus verification period to 1 day from the current 3-5 days. There are concerns the Omicron variant could evade the existing Covid-19 vaccines because it has dozens of spike protein mutations. The spike protein is where antibodies bind to. It will take about two weeks to find out through lab tests if the existing vaccines are effective against the new variant. The prevailing opinion is that oral pills for treating the coronavirus should also work against the Omicron variant because they block virus replication, not the spike protein.

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