The spread of covid-19 has been slowing down for some time now in Korea, but sporadic cluster infections are likely to occur on and off across different parts of the country. Fears persist over potential increases in infection during the forthcoming Chuseok holidays and transition seasons. Worries remain that silent spreaders and covid-19 variants might increase in the coming winter. It seems clear that the tensions resulting from quarantine and social distancing will continue to stay with us at least until an effective vaccine comes out. Globally, the rate of increase in new cases will decline. However, it will take quite a while before countries the world over will be able to effectively constrain the spread of covid-19.
Korea has of late been increasingly perceived by the world as a country strong in resource mobilization, health care infrastructure, public health, and medical technologies and industries. Korea is likely to shift from its past focus on securing self-reliance in vaccine production toward a more ambitious goal of taking the lead in the development of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostic test kits and instruments. While there have been cases in the IT and other industrial sectors where its innovations have not panned out due to lack of demand, Korea is likely to take the lead in the health care and quarantine sectors in the global market, with demand for supplies and services in these industries expected to rise in the years to come.