A South Korean doctor faced a backlash after suggesting that people who do not have COVID-19 have no friends. Ma Sang-hyuk, vice president of the Korean Vaccine Association, made the comment in a Facebook post, which was widely circulated inviting online criticism. The doctor then deleted the post. South Korea has seen a resurgence in coronavirus infections, with daily numbers breaking records in recent weeks. The infection was driven by an Omicron variant, which was detected in South Africa late last year.
“Adults who have not yet been infected with Covid-19 are those with interpersonal problems,” the doctor said in his Facebook post in Korean, as reported by Yang Merdeka.
It aired on March 16, the day South Korea recorded 400,741 new Covid cases.
The post was soon taken up by social media users, who began lashing out at doctors for comments.
“I don’t have much interest in socializing. Even less now. It doesn’t mean it’s an interpersonal problem. It’s just a priority to do your own thing,” said a Facebook user named Belinda, according to Metro.
Sharon’s other user targeted the doctor by saying “Jealousy is bad on you.”
Ma Sang-hyuk finally deleted the broadcast a few days later. He also gave an interview to a Korean news website Every daywhere he says the statement is merely metaphorical and has been misinterpreted.
“It underscores 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,” the doctor said.
The surge in COVID-19 cases in South Korea has been led by the Omicron variant, which has also hit the UK and other parts of the world badly.
But, despite the high number of infections, the South Korean government relaxed closure restrictions, as public opinion supports the removal of all social incarceration restrictions.
Nearly 87 percent of the country’s 52 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.