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Over 400 COVID-19 patients waiting for hospital bed

Posted November. 19, 2021 07:23,   

Updated November. 19, 2021 07:23


Hospitalization of more than four hundred COVID-19 patients is being delayed for a day or more in the metropolitan areas alone owing to the lack of hospital beds. A solution is desperately needed because any delay in treatment can prove especially fatal to seniors.

According to the Central Disaster Management Headquarters, as of Thursday at 00:00 am, the number of COVID-19 patents who are waiting for more than a day to get a bed in the metropolitan areas stood at 423. Once COVID-19 patients are diagnosed, hospital beds are assigned depending on how serious their condition is. Those who did not receive a bed are put on the waitlist. On the first day of November when the policy of living with the coronavirus kicked off, the number of the patients on the list was zero.

The quarantine authorities cited the series of group infection cases at nursing hospitals as primary reason for the surge of waitlist patients. Their condition requires the attentive care at nursing homes dedicated to COVID-19 treatment, causing the lack of hospital beds. As of Wednesday, the occupancy rate of hospital beds at nursing homes dedicated to the treatment of communicable diseases in metropolitan areas stood at 84.1%, practically at a saturation point.

The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Thursday at 12 am was 3,292, the highest in the country since the outbreak of COVID-19 in January last year. This also marks the first incidence where the daily COVID-19 count has exceeded the mark of 3,000 for two days in a row. The number of patients with critical conditions, at 506 as of Thursday, also exceeded 500 for two consecutive days. “The COVID-19 cases are spreading among the older patients, and the critical patients are increasing as well. The situation calls for a watertight medical response,” President Moon Jae-in told his cabinet officials Thursday.

ksy@donga.com · somin@donga.com