As South Korea marks record high COVID-19 cases, bed shortage looms

As South Korea marks record high COVID-19 cases, shortage of beds looms

SEOUL (SOUTH KOREA) – The South Korean prime minister said on Wednesday that the highest priority for the nation is ensuring more hospital beds to tackle the record spike in the number of coronavirus cases and minimise the casualties.

According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), there were 1,078 new coronavirus cases as of Tuesday midnight, which is the highest since the outbreak of the pandemic.

This comes three days after the daily new cases crossed 1,000 for the first time since the country confirmed its first pandemic infection in January.

As per the KDCA, there were also 12 more fatalities, the second day of double-digit deaths after a record high of 13 the day before. South Korea has managed to keep the fatality count low by aggressive testing and tracing.

The count of severe cases has more than doubled over the past 14 days to reach a record high of 226 on Wednesday.

According to officials, there are only three critical care beds left in the greater Seoul area having a population of 26 million.

“The top priority is securing more hospital beds,” said Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun. “Full administrative power should be mobilised so that no patient would wait for more than a day before being assigned to bed.”

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