South Korea’s COVID-19 cases continue to soar as hospital beds run low

South Korea's COVID-19 cases continue to soar as hospital beds run low
South Korea recorded its highest-ever day by day variety of new COVID-19 instances on Wednesday, topping the 7,000 mark for the primary time, as officers scramble so as to add hospital capability. File picture by Thomas Maresca/UPI | License Photograph

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (UPI) — South Korea reported a brand new day by day excessive of COVID-19 instances on Wednesday, surpassing 7,000 for the primary time, whereas hovering numbers of crucial sufferers proceed to pressure hospital mattress capability within the worst outbreak the nation has seen because the starting of the pandemic.

The Korea Illness Management and Prevention Company recorded 7,175 new infections on Wednesday, a major soar over the earlier excessive of 5,352 set on Saturday. Circumstances have surged since early November, when well being officers started easing social distancing restrictions, permitting bigger group gatherings and longer enterprise hours for eating places and bars.

The variety of significantly in poor health sufferers additionally reached a brand new excessive of 840, leaving officers scrambling so as to add extra hospital beds. Within the larger Seoul space, the place the vast majority of instances are concentrated, intensive care beds for COVID-19 sufferers are at almost 85% capability, officers stated.

“We’re repeatedly increasing the variety of beds with energetic cooperation from the medical neighborhood, however it’s tough to maintain up with the rise within the variety of confirmed instances,” Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum stated at a COVID-19 activity drive assembly on Wednesday.

Greater than 80% of South Koreans have been absolutely vaccinated, however the newest outbreak is being pushed partly by breakthrough infections among the many aged, who have been among the many first within the nation to obtain their photographs.

Sufferers over 60 years of age account for 35% of all confirmed instances and 84% of extreme instances, Kim stated, because the efficacy of their inoculations has waned considerably.

South Korea has been ramping up its rollout of booster photographs, however as of Wednesday solely 8.8% of the full inhabitants and 22.1% of over-60s had acquired a further dose, in response to the KDCA.

Kim stated that rushing up vaccinations amongst youth was additionally an “pressing challenge,” with instances rising as colleges went again to full in-person participation in November. South Korea solely started vaccinating 12-17 year-olds in October, and simply 33% have acquired each photographs up to now.

Well being officers need to improve house remedy of gentle instances in an effort to liberate beds, Kim stated, with the federal government including personnel to assist monitor sufferers.

South Korea strengthened its social distancing rules on Monday in response to the skyrocketing outbreak, limiting gatherings within the larger Seoul space to seven or fewer individuals and increasing proof of vaccination necessities to a wider vary of public services together with eating places and film theaters. The brand new guidelines will probably be in impact till at the least the start of January, officers stated.

Amid issues over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, South Korea has additionally imposed a compulsory quarantine of 10 days for all abroad arrivals, no matter vaccination standing, and has restricted entry from 9 African nations. Well being officers have confirmed 38 instances of the Omicron variant in South Korea up to now.

South Korea recorded 63 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, its third-highest whole ever, bringing the general toll to 4,020.

Latest news
Related news