People who haven’t had Covid yet probably have no friends, a Korean doctor says

Doctor later deleted comments following backlash

Thomas Kingsley
Monday 28 March 2022 08:42
Comments
<p>South Korea has seen a new wave of Covid driven by the Omicron variant, the nation’s disease control agency said </p>

South Korea has seen a new wave of Covid driven by the Omicron variant, the nation’s disease control agency said

A South Korean doctor has faced a backlash after suggesting people who are yet to catch Covid-19 probably do not have friends.

“The adults who have not yet been infected with Covid-19 are those who have interpersonal problems," Ma Sang-hyuk, who is vice-president of the Korean Vaccine Society, wrote on Facebook.

He reportedly deleted the 16 March post following the backlash before saying that the remark was only metaphorical and there had been a misunderstanding.

In an interview with South Korean news site Daily, he said: “It emphasized how difficult it is for anyone to avoid the virus in a situation where there is a high rate of confirmed cases in the area.”

A traveler arrives to enter into a Covid-19 testing center at the Incheon International Airport In Incheon

On the day the doctor made his comments South Korea recorded 400,741 new Covid cases while the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KCDA) warned that the Omicron variant is driving the record wave of infections.

Despite the numbers, the government shows no sign of rethinking plans to remove almost all social distancing restrictions in coming days and weeks, and public opinion appears to support those moves.

Nearly 63 per cent of the country's 52 million residents had received booster shots, with 86.6 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, the KDCA said.

People receive the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center in Seoul

A government analysis of some 141,000 Omicron cases reported in the country over the past year showed that there were no deaths among people under 60 who had received a booster shot, Son Young-rae, a health ministry official, said, adding that Covid could be treated like the seasonal flu.

“We see this could be the last major crisis in our Covid responses, and if we overcome this crisis, it would bring us nearer to normal lives,” Mr Young-rae told a briefing.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in