South Korea considers expanded COVID-19 home care as new cases above 7,000 – Community News

South Korea considers expanded COVID-19 home care as new cases above 7,000

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Reuters) – South Korea will consider expanding home treatment for COVID-19 patients, a health official said Wednesday, as both new daily infections and serious cases hit record highs, putting pressure on hospital capacity.

The number of infections in South Korea has skyrocketed this month after the government began easing restrictions in November under a so-called ‘living with COVID-19’ scheme.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 7,175 new coronavirus cases and 63 deaths on Tuesday, the first time daily infections hit 7,000, while hospitals treated a record 840 critical and serious cases. read more

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“It is important to maintain or reduce the trend of the current size of the critically ill patients within a week or two,” Son Young-rae, a senior official at the Ministry of Health, told a news conference.

He said the government may need to make significant changes to the health care system if the daily case count hits 10,000, and should consider expanding home treatment currently by about 50%, as four-fifths of COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic or only mild. have symptoms.

Less than 3% of COVID-19 patients were admitted in the UK, 6.95% in Singapore and 12.8% in Japan, Son said.

The government will mobilize additional staff to monitor coronavirus patients who are self-treating at home and to improve the emergency transfer system to hospitals for those who develop severe symptoms, Kim told a COVID-19 response meeting. In addition to large hospitals, private clinics will also treat COVID-19 patients.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum urged the elderly to get booster shots with people aged 60 and over who were responsible for 35% of infections and 84% of severe cases. He also urged young people to get vaccinated.

South Korea has confirmed 38 cases of the Omicron variant so far.

With 80% of South Korean cases in greater Seoul, authorities are struggling to get enough beds for hospitalized patients in the area.

South Korea imposed stricter measures on Monday, including a reduced number of people allowed in private meetings and an extension of the vaccine pass mandate. read more

The country has so far reported a total of 489,484 cases of COVID-19, with 4,020 deaths. It has fully vaccinated 91.8% of the adult population aged 18 and over, KDCA data shows.

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Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Sam Holmes and Stephen Coates

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.