South Korea faced its deadliest day of the pandemic on Saturday, reporting 112 deaths in a 24-hour period, as the country battles a rising coronavirus fueled by the Omicron variant. Health authorities reported that there were 643 hospitalized patients in severe or critical condition on Saturday, up from 408 patients a week earlier.
The surge in South Korea, now one of the worst in the world, accelerated last week, hitting a record 171,452 cases in just one day on Wednesday. Since then, case numbers have remained high, with the government reporting 166,207 cases on Saturday. South Korea, a country of about 50 million people, is now reporting more cases than the United States every day, an unimaginable development.
According to a senior health official, Lee Ki-il, who spoke at a briefing on Friday, the government plans to secure more hospital beds by March. He added that the government and medical community did their best to “not cause inconvenience to the public”. Mr. Lee said the Korea Agency for Disease Control and Prevention is ready to receive and treat 2,000 patients with severe Covid-19 disease.
The government has responded to this increase by focusing on detecting the virus in high-risk groups – those aged 60 and over, as well as those with pre-existing conditions – and treating only the most critical cases. The majority of those who tested positive were asked to simply take care of themselves at home.
It’s part of the government’s new approach to learning to live with the virus. Starting in March, people living with people who test positive will no longer be required to quarantine, regardless of their immunization status. Previously, unvaccinated people had to quarantine for seven days if someone in their household tested positive.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/26/world/asia/south-korea-records-its-deadliest-day-of-the-pandemic.html Korea records the deadliest Pandemic Day