Return to normal could stop with rise in serious COVID-19 cases: PM

Asia's Tech News Daily

Return to normal could stop with rise in serious COVID-19 cases: PM
Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum (Yonhap)South Korea could stop its return to normal, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said Friday as the country continued to see a sharp rise in the number of critically ill COVID-19 patients, placing a strain on the supply of medical resources.

Kim said in a meeting Friday that hospital beds across the country must be efficiently managed as they are quickly being filled, impeding a swift medical response for COVID-19 patients. Setting aside more hospital beds and medical resources is a priority for the government, he said.

“There are concerns that our journey to return to normalcy could stop for a while if this crisis cannot be overcome,” Kim said during the meeting with the heads of 22 tertiary hospitals in the Greater Seoul area. “We will improve our hospital bed management system.”

As of Thursday, 78.2 percent of hospital intensive care beds in the capital region were occupied, with the rate for Seoul reaching 80.9 percent. The bed occupancy rate for the whole country was tallied at 63.8 percent.

The number of critically ill COVID-19 patients reached 499 by Thursday’s end, down seven from a day earlier, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. The figure has stayed above 400 since earlier this month, an alarming situation that arose for the first time since the end of August.

The country on Thursday reported 3,034 new cases, 3,011 locally transmitted and 23 imported from overseas, raising the total so far to 409,099. Seoul alone added its second-highest figure of 1,401, and Gyeonggi Province and Incheon added 849 and 188 cases, respectively.

The Greater Seoul area, comprising the three regions, accounted for 80.3 percent of newly added cases reported Thursday.

At the same time, Korea also added 28 more deaths from the infectious disease, raising the death toll to 3,215, while the fatality rate stood at 0.79 percent.

Considering the serious virus situation, Kim said, critically ill patients will be sent to any area with available intensive care beds regardless of where they live. He asked hospital chiefs to hasten the transfer of intensive care patients to normal recovery rooms when their condition improves.

The situation puts Korea’s plans to return to normal at risk. The KDCA had introduced a new five-tier assessment system under which officials determine a social distancing system on a weekly basis. The country was set to move to the second stage in mid-December after a two-week evaluation period.

By Ko Jun-tae (ko.juntae@heraldcorp.com)

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Cold weather grips S. Korea

People go to work wearing padded jackets as cold weather grips Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)A cold wave hit South Korea on Tuesday, with temperatures in Seoul dropping to minus 9.3 ... Read more »

In-ground traffic lights installed across Seoul for 'smartphone zombies'

This file photo shows pedestrians walking over in-ground traffic signals. (Yonhap)A growing number of crosswalk traffic signals are finding their way onto the ground in Seoul as a way to ... Read more »

Military reports 17 more COVID-19 cases

A soldier gets a booster shot at an inoculation center in Yongin, 49 kilometers south of Seoul, in this photo released by the Ministry of National Defense on Dec. 15, ... Read more »

Osstem embezzlement suspect's father disappears after leaving apparent suicide note

An Osstem Implant employee surnamed Lee, covered with a thick winter coat, is escorted into the Gangseo Police Station in western Seoul last Thursday, after being arrested on charges of ... Read more »

Parliamentary committee OKs bill on reducing age of eligibility for joining political parties

Parliamentary committee meeting held Monday (Joint Press Corps)A parliamentary committee on Monday approved a bill on lowering the age at which people can join a political party, a move seen ... Read more »

A man sentenced to 25 years in prison for arson that killed three people

The Supreme Court of South Korea in southern Seoul. YonhapA man convicted of killing three people in an arson fire at a motel in Seoul was sentenced to 25 years ... Read more »

Govt. to support corporate hazard management with workplace disaster punishment law to take effect

This computer-generated image, provided by Yonhap News TV, depicts industrial accidents. (Yonhap)SEJONG — The government plans to provide support to companies in preventing and dealing with industrial hazards, as a ... Read more »

Vaccine pass mandate applied to big stores on Monday

Visitors to a local department store in Seoul check in with a QR code. (Yonhap)South Korea‘s vaccine pass mandate, which requires people to show proof of vaccination or a negative ... Read more »

Up to 3 cm of snow forecast for Seoul until Tuesday morning

Pedestrians walk along a crossroad in front of Gwanghwamun, a main gate of South Korea’s Gyeongbokgung Palace in central Seoul, on Dec. 18, 2021. (Yonhap)Snow will fall in the capital ... Read more »

Facing omicron wave, Korea begins weighing who to test first

Daegu city officials help move boxes of rapid antigen test kits on Jan. 5. (Yonhap)Facing a wave of the coronavirus omicron variant, South Korea may be forced to test people ... Read more »

Omicron cases in Seoul more than double to 456 from week ago

Citizens wait in line to receive COVID-19 tests at a makeshift clinic in central Seoul last Friday. (Yonhap)The omicron caseload in Seoul has more than doubled to 456 on Monday ... Read more »

Over 1,900 police detectives lose qualification for investigation

 gettyimagesBankOver 1,900 police detectives lost their qualification this year to lead investigations after refusing to be reassigned to new departments, the National Police Agency said Monday. Detectives are reviewed yearly ... Read more »

Fine dust blankets much of S. Korea again

Seoul is covered by heavy fine dust on Monday. (Yonhap)Fine dust plagued most parts of South Korea on Monday due to air stagnation caused by the high atmospheric pressure in ... Read more »

Daily infections below 4,000 for 4th day amid tightened distancing rules

Employees from the tourism industry stage a rally in Jongno, central Seoul, for financial support from the government on Sunday, amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. (Yonhap)South Korea’s daily coronavirus cases ... Read more »

In highly vaccinated Korea, mandates are fueling a backlash

QR code scanners are set up at the entrance of a mall in Seoul. Visitors must scan their personal QR code generated through a smartphone app before entering. (Yonhap) Korea’s ... Read more »

Vaccination rate of 18-year-olds hits 90%

Student receives a fist bump from a principal at a graduation ceremony held at a school in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, Thursday. (Yonhap)As of Saturday, 90.1 percent of 18-year-olds have ... Read more »

Korea covered by fine dust; special measures enforced

Korea on Sunday was blanketed by dangerous levels of ultrafine dust expected to persist until at least Monday, which prompted the government to issue emergency reduction measures for the first ... Read more »

Mother of late student activist dies at 82

In this file photo from June 9, 2021, Bae Eun-sim, mother of the late student activist Lee Han-yeol, speaks at an event at Yonsei University in Seoul marking the 34th ... Read more »

Daily infections below 4,000 for 3rd day amid omicron woes

This photo taken on Jan. 7, 2021, shows people waiting to take coronavirus tests at a makeshift testing center in front of the Seoul City Hall in central Seoul. (Yonhap)South ... Read more »

Military reports 22 new COVID-19 cases

A soldier gets a booster shot at an inoculation center in Yongin, 49 kilometers south of Seoul, in this file photo released by the Ministry of National Defense in December ... Read more »

Daily virus cases below 4,000 for 2nd day amid omicron woes

Citizens wait in line to receive COVID-19 tests at a makeshift clinic in central Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)South Korea’s daily coronavirus cases stayed below 4,000 for the second day Saturday ... Read more »

Same sex couple loses suit against state health insurer over spousal coverage

So Seong-wook (L) and Kim Yong-min, a South Korean gay couple, stand in front of the Seoul Administrative Court in southern Seoul on Feb. 19, 2021, before filing an administrative ... Read more »

S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases on downward trend, falling below 4,000

A coronavirus testing station in Seoul is quiet on the afternoon of Tuesday, when the country reported 3,024 new cases, lower than the number from the previous days. (Yonhap)South Korea‘s ... Read more »

Shinsegae heir goes on with anti-communism posts, rebukes Instagram over political bias

Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin (Yonhap) Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin on Friday continued to express his discontent over Instagram’s removal of his post expressing his hostility toward ... Read more »

Children's gym owner faces murder charges in bizarre rectum stabbing case

A 41-year-old children’s gym owner arrested for murdering an employee is transferred to prosecutors on Friday, in Seoul. (Yonhap)Police on Friday pressed murder charges against the owner of a children’s ... Read more »

Appeals court upholds 3 1/2-year prison term for NK defector over spy activities

(123rf)SUWON — An appeals court upheld a 3 1/2-year prison term for a North Korean defector charged with spying for Pyongyang, court officials said Friday. The defector, whose identity was ... Read more »

Daily virus cases fall below 4,000 for first time in 3 days amid omicron woes

A coronavirus testing station in Seoul is quiet on the afternoon of Tuesday, when the country reported 3,024 new cases, lower than the number from the previous days. (Yonhap)South Korea’s ... Read more »

[Contribution] Toward a fairer society with more reliable employment safety nets

Minister of Employment and Labor An Kyung-dukSquid Game, the television series at the forefront of the Korean wave, has won worldwide praise for its ingenious plot. Even more intriguing was ... Read more »

'Mergepoint' discount app operators indicted on fraud charges

(Yonhap) Prosecutors said Thursday they indicted the two founders of Mergepoint, a once-popular online discount app, for causing some 100 billion won ($83.63 million) worth of damages to customers and ... Read more »

Korea locks in COVID-19 pills for 1m people. Here's what to know

This image provided by Pfizer in October 2021 shows the company`s COVID-19 Paxlovid pills. Newly infected COVID-19 patients have two new treatment options that can be taken at home. (AP-Reuters) ... Read more »

32-yr-old man given 7-yr prison term in deadly dating violence case

(Yonhap)A 32-year-old man was sentenced to seven years behind bars Thursday for beating his girlfriend to death. The man, surnamed Lee, was indicted on charges of battering his girlfriend, Hwang ... Read more »

Youth vaccine passes: How do they work around the world?

Members of a Seoul-based parents group stage a rally in southern Seoul protesting the government‘s plan to expand the COVID-19 vaccine pass program to teenagers on Dec. 11, 2021. (Yonhap)The ... Read more »

North Gyeongsang Province to boost cultural, tourism, medical and bio industries

Lee Cheol-woo, governor of North Gyeongsang Province (North Gyeongsang Province government)North Gyeongsang Province is striving to boost its cultural, tourism, medical and bio sectors that will be in the spotlight ... Read more »

Police tackle mysteries surrounding nation's single largest embezzlement case

An Osstem Implant employee surnamed Lee, covered with a thick winter coat, is escorted into the Gangseo Police Station in western Seoul on Thursday, after being arrested on charges of ... Read more »

3 firefighters unaccounted for at warehouse fire scene in Pyeongtaek: officials

This photo provided by the Gyeonggi Province fire authorities shows smoke billowing from a warehouse fire scene in Pyeongtaek, some 70 kilometers south of Seoul, on Thursday. (Gyeonggi Province fire ... Read more »

Train operations on Seoul-Busan line normalized after derailment recovery

Seoul Station is crowded with passengers due to train delays on Wednesday, as a KTX bullet train was derailed on the Seoul-Busan route after a steel structure torn loose from ... Read more »

Military reports 16 more COVID-19 cases

A soldier receives a booster COVID-19 shot. (Yonhap)South Korea’s military on Thursday reported 16 additional COVID-19 cases, including 14 breakthrough infections, raising the total caseload among its personnel to 3,376. ... Read more »

Daily virus cases over 4,000 for 2nd day amid omicron woes

A medical worker guides people standing in line to take coronavirus tests at a screening clinic in front of Seoul City Hall on Wednesday. South Korea’s daily coronavirus cases bounced ... Read more »

Health officials, court clash over vaccine pass mandates

The court decided on Tuesday to temporarily block the use of vaccine passes at educational establishments. At this study venue in Suwon, the machine scanning QR-coded passes was stopped from ... Read more »

KTX train derails in central S. Korea, injuring passengers

This photo provided by the Chungbuk Fire Service Headquarters shows a KTX train that derailed in central South Korea on Wednesday. (Chungbuk Fire Service Headquarters)A KTX bullet train en route ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic