During the weekend, there were about 7,000 confirmed cases, and there was a long line at the testing center all weekend. The government said that it would switch to the Omicron response stage when the number of confirmed cases reaches 7,000 as it is now, but it is faltering, unable to respond quickly because it is not yet ready.

Correspondent Jo Ki-ho.

<Reporter> This

is a screening clinic in Jung-gu, Seoul.

Even on holidays, people line up for PCR tests.

[Roh Young-gyun / Mapo-gu, Seoul: There are definitely more people than when I was (tested) last week (2 weeks ago), so the waiting time seems to be about 50 minutes... .]

On the 21st, there are still more than 200,000 PCR tests nationwide from 530,000 cases and 750,000 tests per day.

The utilization rate of intensive care beds is also stable at 20.4%.

But given the propagation power of omicrons, we cannot be relieved.

Looking at cases from overseas countries, it took an average of 27 days from the time the Omicron started to surge to the peak of the number of confirmed cases, 31 days in South Africa, 30 days in New York, 30 days in New York, 24 days in Paris, and 23 days in London, England.

In the case of Korea, if Omicron becomes the dominant species this week, the next month could be a turning point.

However, the government's preparation is still insufficient.

Neighborhood hospitals that will participate in home care management have not yet confirmed their working system, and respiratory clinics that will be in charge of rapid antigen testing of asymptomatic or mild patients should also prepare a separate quarantine system.

[Jeong Jae-hoon/Professor of Preventive Medicine, Gachon University: Efforts are being made to secure the capacity to treat COVID-19 patients at primary medical institutions, but there are parts that are relatively slow...


It is pointed out that in order not to miss the time, the government needs to take preemptive measures before the Omicron indicator deteriorates.