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24th Mar 2022

Korean doctor faces backlash for saying people who haven’t contracted covid yet have no friends

Kieran Galpin


Sure, hit us where it hurts

A Korean doctor has received backlash after suggesting that people who are yet to contract covid have no friends and so have not come into contact with the virus.

Ma Sang-hyuk, Vice President of the Korean Vaccine Society, posted the inflammatory statements to his Facebook account on March 16, where he wrote: “The adults who have not yet been infected with COVID-19 are those who have interpersonal problems.”

After receiving enormous backlash, Sang-hyuk deleted the post, but not before people could screenshot it and share his thoughts across the internet. He later told the Korean Herald that the phrasing “interpersonal problems” was used to highlight that people in relationships were bound to catch it at some point.

He also told New Daily that his comments were meant to be “metaphorical.”

“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,” he said.

His previous statement includes “living with covid” and focusing on treatments rather than regulations to slow the spread like social distancing.

Similar comments were reportedly made by Infectious Disease specialist Brenda Crabtree via Twitter where she said: “If you don’t have friends infected right now, you don’t have friends.” The post appears to have since been removed.

In other covid news, over 75s, care home residents and the most vulnerable people over the age of 12 will be offered the fourth shot as part of the NHS spring booster programme. Around five million people are eligible for the booster.

Speaking at the Tory Spring Conference in Blackpool last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I hope you’ve all had your boosters. We’re getting ready for a fourth jab, because we’re going to need it.”

Similarly, Health Secretary Sajid Javid also urged people to “come forward as soon as you are contacted by the NHS.”

Adding to the news on Twitter, Javid wrote: “You will be contacted six months after your previous dose to top up your immunity.”

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