South Korea has reported a new record of seriously ill Covid-19 patients, according to Korea Disease Control Agency (KDCA) data from Tuesday.
As of 12 a.m. local time Wednesday, 1,063 Covid-19 patients are in critical condition, with 84% of them age 60 and above, KDCA said.
Health Minister Kwon Deok-chul said the government will add 6,944 hospital beds for Covid-19 patients in moderate and critical condition by the end of January 2022.
Other measures to ease the burden on the country's struggling health facilities, according to Kwon, include:
- National university hospitals are already providing 308 hospital beds for critically ill Covid-19 patients.
- Some public hospitals will convert to solely treat Covid-19 patients by January.
- Space in hospitals for Covid-19 patients in need of special treatment, such as dialysis, pregnancy and mental health will also be added.
- 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 orders 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 to 583,065, according to KDCA. The death toll rose to 4,906 after 78 fatalities were added from Tuesday.