South Korea reported yet another record number of Covid-19 patients in critical condition, according to the Korea Disease Control Agency (KDCA) data from Tuesday.
As of 12 a.m. local Wednesday, a total of 1,063 Covid-19 patients are in critical condition, and 84% of them are aged 60 and above, KDCA said.
Health Minister Kwon Deok-chul said on Wednesday the government will add a total of 6,944 hospital beds for Covid-19 patients in moderate and critical condition by the end of January 2022.
National university hospitals are already cooperating to provide 308 hospital beds for critically ill Covid-19 patients, according to Kwon.
He added that public hospitals, like the National Medical Center, will convert to treating only Covid-19 patients by January.
Hospitals for Covid-19 patients in need of special treatment, such as dialysis, pregnancy and mental health will also be added, Kwon said
He also said more public medical workers, including military doctors, will be allocated to treating Covid-19 patients and the government will prepare the national health system to be able to handle 10,000 patients a day, with a worst-case scenario in mind.
The announcement is in line with President Moon Jae-in’s instructions from Monday to expand medical response capability by securing more hospital beds and medical workers.
South Korea reported 7,456 new Covid-19 cases from Tuesday, increasing the country’s total number of confirmed cases to 583,065, according to the KDCA. The death toll rose to 4,906 after 78 deaths were added from Tuesday.
As of 12 a.m. local Wednesday, 85.1% of the population received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, 82.1% of the population received a second dose of vaccine, and 25.5% received a booster shot, according to the KDCA on Wednesday.
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