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◇ Jae-Hong Park> There is also a forecast that the era of 10,000 corona patients this week will come. It’s because of Omicron. Moreover, there are even warnings that the number of confirmed cases will not stop at 10,000, but may reach 90,000 by the end of February or early March. Today, Prime Minister Kim Bu-gyeom even asked to refrain from visiting his hometown during the Lunar New Year holiday, but how should we view the current situation? The major framework of the quarantine system is changing, so let’s take a look at how to prepare for it. Professor Lee Jae-gap, Department of Infectious Diseases, Hallym University. Hello Professor?
◇ Jaehong Park> Professor, are you very busy?
◆ Jaegap Lee> Yes, it is.
◇ Jaehong Park> Be strong.
◆ Seong-Hye Kim> I think you are asking if you are Korean. (laugh)
◇ Jaehong Park> We connect the busiest person. First, let’s take a look at the reason why the Omicron dominant species situation is so serious that we have to change the quarantine system.
◆ Lee Jae-gap> As you can see from the pattern of outbreaks in foreign countries, in Australia, which has been stable enough to be our country, there are more than 100,000 confirmed cases a day. In Japan, there are currently 50,000 confirmed cases per day. So, compared to what we have experienced so far, the number of confirmed cases itself is not about one or two times, but five or ten times higher, so how can we manage the rapidly increasing number of patients now? It looks like you can take a look.
◇ Jaehong Park> Japan is amazing. Isn’t Japan a very small number? But at some point, it suddenly becomes 50,000, so what the hell is this? Why is this happening Is it really because of the omicrons I haven’t investigated properly?
◆ Jae-Gap Lee> It really seems to be because of Omicron. The reason Japan experienced a significant decline at the end of November is that there was an extreme trend after the Olympics between July and October. From then on, until mid-October, social distancing was very strict, and then the vaccination rate went up. Those who were vaccinated at that time were at a point where the effectiveness of vaccinations decreased. Also, when the state of emergency was lifted in mid-October, the distance did not rise for almost a month. I did. In addition, it has spread to Omicron and has been interpreting that it is now showing an all-time high rate of increase as it has suffered three major highs.
◆ Kim Seong-hoe> Japan’s booster shot is far less than Korea’s, right?
◆ Jae-Gap Lee> Since the second vaccination was administered between July and September, the booster shot is now only 1.5%.
◆ Jin Joong-kwon> However, the aggravation rate does not seem to be as severe as in the past. Medical collapse.
◆ Lee Jae-gap> Today’s Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) is talking about the aggravation rate or mortality rate so far, and it is 0.16%. So I said that it was about a quarter of the delta, but the current mortality rate is still a bit underestimated because the current epidemic situation always spreads around young people at the beginning of the epidemic and then spreads to the elderly later. It seems like So, the group outbreak of the elderly, especially Omicron, which we are concerned about, started in earnest yesterday due to breakthrough infections in nursing homes and nursing homes. In this way, if the number of infections in the elderly, especially those in the elderly, increases, the mortality rate is expected to rise by 25%.
◆ Kim Seong-hoe> In the case of influenza, the fatality rate is 0.04 to 0.08, and the complications are relatively few, so many scholars agree that the pattern is different from the past, right? A little closer to the flu.
◆ Lee Jae-gap> So, the overall mortality and fatality rate are falling, but the transmission power is almost 6 or 7 times that of the flu. So, if there is an outbreak in the same period, it means that the number of cases is 6 to 7 times, so we have 3 million influenza outbreaks in 3 months and 3,000 deaths. Now, if we prepare for Omicron, 1800 It can cause 10,000 people and 18,000 people can die with it. .
◇ Park Jae-hong> So, Prime Minister Kim Bu-gyeom also said that the key is to manage the rate of increase in the number of confirmed cases.
◆ Jaegap Lee> Yes. First of all, we need to change the quarantine system. In particular, we need to properly manage the situations in which a large number of confirmed cases occur so that patients can be properly classified so that seriously ill patients can go to the intensive care unit quickly. After that, we used to shake 7,000 and 8,000 people in the process of properly isolating mild patients so that they do not spread to others.
◆ Jin Jung-kwon> It’s a quarantine problem. Can’t we expect that 50,000 people are going to Japan now, and we’ll be like that soon? If this is 50,000 people, 100,000 people, and 200,000 people quarantined, there seems to be a problem with the supply and demand of labor.
◆ Jaegap Lee> That’s right. Now, we are not only discussing the collapse of the medical system, but if the number of confirmed cases increases for a while, there may be many situations in which it may become difficult for essential elements of society to arise and companies may find it difficult to continue working. When it occurs about 800,000 people a day, there is a report that 9% of the population is unable to work because quarantined people and confirmed cases are included. The fact is that many companies are in a situation where they can’t operate properly for a month or two, so preparations to keep the social system from being shaken are also necessary now.
◆ Jin Joong-kwon> I think a pandemic is inevitable in the end, but how do you see the rough or that level and to what extent did we manage to manage it?
◇ Park Jae-hong> About the number of confirmed cases.
◆ Jae-Gap Lee> So, the number of people running around the team right now was 90,000 at the end of February and early March last time, but it seems that the time will come sooner than that. , can be increased like this Now, interpretations are coming out, and after struggling for at least 3 months, the trend is likely to break, making predictions like this.
◆ Jin Jung-kwon> It’s amazing.
◇ Jaehong Park> By the way, isn’t the policy goal important? Rather than vaguely telling us not to go to our hometown during the holidays, our goal is to manage a few thousand people, so be patient. The number 7000 is also displayed. What is the rationale for this?
◆ Lee Jae-gap> 7,000 people saw the last time Korea’s diagnosis system began to shake at 7,000. At that point, Korea has a 1% to 2% confirmation rate, so about 700,000 people are tested, but currently about 800 to 850,000 people can do the PCR test. So, if the positive rate exceeds 1~2% until the situation exceeds 7000, then it becomes difficult to diagnose only with PCR. . And since the situation in which it becomes difficult to test the entire patient only with tests in general screening or temporary screening starts from that point, you can take it as a meaning that the diagnosis system and treatment system need to be changed from then on.
◆ Jin Jung-kwon> What is the bed utilization rate? I wonder if there is enough room to respond. How far ahead is possible? I’m curious about this.
◆ Jae-Gap Lee> So, with the current delta trend, we prepared up to 2,200 intensive care units. And since we have prepared up to 17,000 beds, the current utilization rate of beds is less than 30%. general bed intensive care. But speed is an issue. If the rate is gradually increased over 2-3 months, it can survive without the collapse of the medical system. It is said that 2,000 or 3,000 critically ill patients may increase twice the number of people who went there. So, when the number of at least 100,000 or more exceeds 50,000, the intensive care unit will begin to overflow. Because of this talk, it is expected that the medical system will be able to prevent the collapse of the medical system to a certain extent until it does not exceed at least 30,000 to 40,000 people.
◆ Seong-Hui Kim> So, the last time the professor explained that I would get better there if I bring in oral treatment and take medicine, but he is of no use?
◆ Lee Jae-gap> Even considering that part, it is said that it can be difficult if it exceeds the scale of the epidemic, so it is important how quickly the scale rises and at what level the scale is caught. Looking at that part, with the current level of distancing we are doing, there are 100,000 confirmed cases in our country that we have never seen before. There is a fear of being able to experience this as well.
◆ Kim Seong-hoe> So, Professor, because of that, the people who have survived for nearly two years now get 100,000 or 200,000 overseas, and we just got it all and raised our immunity. Anti-white papers insist on it. do you see
◆ Lee Jae-gap> So I think I said something similar last time, but if we release it like that, I can tell you that we can go through what most foreign countries have experienced for 2 years in 3 or 4 months. I’m telling you that we shouldn’t go to that level because there could be a situation that could result in tens of thousands of deaths.
◆ Jin Jung-kwon> From the point of view of citizens, wouldn’t the diagnostic test change? Please explain in detail how it changes.
◆ Jae-Gap Lee> So, starting this Wednesday, Omicron is mainly in Pyeongtaek and Anseong, in southern Gyeonggi Province, and it starts in Gwangju, but PCR can be run first only by seniors over 60 or high-risk groups. Others are tested first with a rapid antigen test, and if positive, additional confirmation tests are performed. The biggest problem with rapid antigen testing is that it starts to turn positive 3 or 4 days later than PCR. After that, it’s been a week since the positivity itself. In the case of symptoms, it turns negative again after a week, so the test itself may be slightly inaccurate. situation will be So, you need to understand that an increase in the number of confirmed cases in the community to a certain extent is an unavoidable system.
◆ Jin Jung-kwon> Wasn’t the self-examination kit like that in the first place? I can’t believe it, they say I can’t trust it, but now I’m in a situation where I have to introduce this.
◆ Lee Jae-gap> Autonomous Currently, the government’s diagnostic system is part of what is being said in front of medical staff, whether it’s self-collection or rapid antigen test.
◇ Jaehong Park> Only in front of medical staff.
◆ Jaegap Lee> What is the current diagnosis system? The biggest limitation of the rapid antigen test is that the sensitivity of symptomatic patients is about 70%.
◇ Jaehong Park> That’s right.
◆ Jae-Gap Lee> There are only about 20% of people like that. So, the biggest limitation is not being able to catch asymptomatic infected people, so the public understands that part, so if you feel bad about me even a little bit, then you will have to refrain from activities on your own and not go outside and start doing these things.
◆ Jin Joong-kwon> Even if there is a voice, it may not be a voice.
◆ Jaegap Lee> That’s right. It’s highly likely that it’s non-negative.
◆ Seong-Hye Kim> Pfizer CEO gave an interview last weekend saying that it is ideal to vaccinate once a year, and it is attracting attention now.
◆ Jae-Gap Lee> The Pfizer CEO’s remarks have to be properly translated, but it means that they want to be hit at least once a year as the fashion situation is stable, but that doesn’t mean that they get hit once a year. So, the fact that the current pandemic is getting longer and we have no choice but to get vaccinated often is so bad that we have to accept it as such a concept. So, first of all, high-risk groups are inevitably a pandemic. There will be no choice but to vaccinate several times until it becomes N-demick and becomes seasonal. You can inoculate it and understand it to the extent that you can go two-track in this way.
◆ Jin, Joong-Kwon> Is there a problem with the change of diagnostic tests and isolation of close contacts? How would this be different?
◆ Lee Jae-gap> Even those who have been confirmed are now quarantined for only 7 days and released. It seems that close contacts will be quarantined for only 7 days and then released. Also, for those who have been vaccinated, especially those who have completed the third dose, how to shorten the period further. We are also thinking about ways to get an exemption.
◇ Jaehong Park> That’s right. So, even if you have been confirmed, quarantine for at least two weeks and stay for another week or so. It’s not like this, if you’ve had the 2nd or 3rd vaccination, you can isolate for only 7 days.
◆ Lee Jae-gap> Those who have received the 2nd and 3rd doses of confirmed cases are in a way that lifts the quarantine within 7 days. What you see is correct.
◇ Jaehong Park> Yes. Then, in general, all the people have to work together to figure out how to rationally and wisely do this with Corona. Because the government has come to a situation where it is impossible to say that it cannot be done unconditionally.
◆ Jaegap Lee> Yes. In a situation where the number of confirmed cases is increasing, it is the part that you protect your health. When you are in doubt, the parts you need to make an effort to avoid spreading to others. If you are really sick, you need to rest. It seems that we will not be able to reach a catastrophic situation only if these parts are thoroughly observed.
◇ Jae-Hong Park> If it’s not a PCR test, then if the seriously ill patient’s wife is the rapid antigen test, will it start from Wednesday? Or do you have your own choices?
◆ Jae-Gap Lee> So from Wednesday, it will only happen in Gwangju and the four cities in southern Gyeonggi-do that I mentioned earlier. At the current pace, it is likely that next week will be implemented in the same way nationwide. There is a high possibility that it will become a diagnostic system and the rest of the people will be in a situation where they do rapid antigen testing several times.
◆ Jin Jung-kwon> Is there no hope? In South Africa, the number of confirmed cases has already decreased and Omicron is turning into a flu, and it will be the same in the US in April. There’s talk like this
◇ Jae-Hong Park> Corona N-Demic, such anticipation.
◆ Jin Jung-kwon> Please give me some hope.
◆ Jae-Gap Lee> Hope can be reduced depending on how much you suffer. There were a lot of confirmed cases in the UK and the US, and the vaccination rate was high. England was defeated first. However, in the United States, the prevalence rate is still rising in the southern regions where the vaccination rate is low, and in the northern regions where the vaccination rate is high, the vaccination rate is high and there are many people who are getting it, so it is starting to decline. In Korea, vaccination is much higher than in other countries, but the number of infected people is small.
◇ Jaehong Park> Professor, I will listen to today’s talk. thank you.
◆ Jaegap Lee> Thank you.
◇ Jae-Hong Park> He was Professor Jae-Gap Lee at Hallym University.