South Korean well being officers have warned residents to take present restrictions critically, because the nation faces the opportunity of getting into into its first potential lockdown for the reason that starting of the pandemic.
South Korea has lengthy been thought of a mannequin nation for its efficient Covid-19 response. Regardless of being among the many first international locations to be hit by the virus, it has managed to keep away from the kind of stringent lockdown measures seen elsewhere on the planet, thanks largely to a mixture of aggressive testing and complicated observe and hint methods.
However because the pandemic drags on into winter, the emergence of a so-called “third wave” has resulted in an apparently untraceable rise in new infections.
Rising circumstances: On Tuesday, South Korea reported 1,078 new circumstances — the nation’s highest each day rely but — bringing the nationwide complete to 45,442, in line with the Well being Ministry. The vast majority of the circumstances have been regionally transmitted.
Some 226 sufferers are in important situation, whereas there have been an extra 12 deaths Tuesday, growing complete fatalities to 612.
Talking Wednesday, senior Well being Ministry official Yoon Tae-ho urged folks to comply with social distancing measures within the Seoul metropolitan space, which accounts for round half of the nation’s 51 million inhabitants.
Officers at the moment are debating whether or not to boost restrictions to the next alert degree, with many involved it may hurt small companies and the self-employed.
Final ICU mattress: Seoul now solely has one single ICU mattress devoted to Covid-19 left within the metropolis, the appearing mayor stated on Wednesday.
Some 77 of the overall 78 devoted beds are occupied by coronavirus sufferers. And 85.7% of complete devoted beds throughout hospitals are occupied, including additional pressure to well being methods which are already struggling.
The town will safe 18 extra ICU beds by finish of the 12 months, authorities stated.
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