South Korea’s worst day of the pandemic was Saturday. It reported 112 deaths over a 24-hour span as it battled an Omicron-fueled coronavirus outbreak. Health authorities reported that 643 patients were in critical or severe condition on Saturday, an increase of 408 patients one week earlier.
The current South Korean crisis, which is currently the most severe in the world, has intensified in the last week. On Wednesday, 171,452 cases were reported in one day. The case numbers have remained high with the government reporting 166.207 cases on Saturday. South Korea, a country of approximately 50 million people is now reporting more cases daily than the United States. It is an unimaginable development.
According to Our World in Data South Korea saw a 201 percent increase in daily cases in the past two weeks despite having 86 percent of its population fully vaccinated.
Lee Ki-il, a senior health official, said that the government plans to secure additional hospital beds for March. He added that the government and the medical community were doing their best to “provide no inconveniences to the public.” Mr. Lee said that the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency was prepared to take in and treat up to 2,000 patients with severe cases of Covid-19.
The government has responded to the surge by focusing on the detection of the virus in high-risk groups — those in their 60s and older, as well as people with pre-existing medical conditions — and treating only the most critical cases. The majority of those who test positive are being asked not to worry about their health and to just take care of their own home.
That is part of the government’s new approach of learning to live with the virus. People living with people who have been positive for the virus, regardless of vaccination status, will no longer have to quarantine. Unvaccinated people used to have to quarantine for seven-days if someone in the household was positive.
Source: NY Times