Seoul, Oct 22 | Three quarters of South Koreans agree with the need to shift to the “living with Covid-19” scheme, a poll revealed on Friday, as the government is moving to phase out coronavirus restrictions under the new policy next month.
According to the survey conducted earlier this month on 1,083 people aged 19 to 69, 76.5 per cent expressed support for the government’s planned transition to the coexistence with the coronavirus pandemic, reports Yonhap News Agency.
In a similar poll carried out in August, only 56.9 per cent were in favour of the switch to the policy.
The government has said it will seek a step-by-step recovery of daily life from November by shifting its focus to the management of the number of critically ill patients and deaths.
Specifically, 70.7 per cent of respondents supported the transition from minimising the number of confirmed cases to minimizing the loss of livelihood and daily life, according to the survey.
Seventy-four per cent agreed that the health care system should be changed to minimise the number of seriously ill patients and deaths, while 63.1 per cent supported a transition to eased social distancing regulations.
As for the timing of policy shift, 41.8 percent said “now is most appropriate”, while 27.5 per cent said the policy should be changed later and 20.6 per cent said it is already too late.
About 57 per cent said they can accept new daily Covid-19 cases of 1,000 to 2,000 after the policy change, while the majority of the respondents said an annual death toll of 1,000 to 2,000 can be tolerated.
The poll also found 53.2 per cent believing that social gains from the “living with Covid-19” scheme would be greater than the losses.
As for the possible introduction of the so-called “vaccine pass” system, which requires a vaccination certificate or a negative test result for entry into restaurants and other multi-use facilities, 74.9 per cent expressed opinion of agreement, whereas 20.2 per cent opposed.
Slightly over 80 per cent said they are opposed to the lifting of the current mask requirements in indoor settings even after the “living with Covid-19” scheme is introduced.
Meanwhile, the ratio of respondents who express fears of being diagnosed with Covid-19 has steadily fallen from 69.7 per cent in February and 64 per cent in August to 56.8 per cent this month after peaking at 71.8 per cent in January.
About 46 per cent said the coronavirus situation will likely continue for another one to two years, while 31.5 per cent said it will persist for longer than two additional years.