With several cluster infections in local hospitals, those on the frontline are becoming increasingly worried.
The WHO even reported that one in seven COVID-19 cases worldwide came from health workers.
Choi Jeong-yoon zooms in on how the medical staff are coping with the situation.
Battling on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic since March, one nurse in South Korea says the fear among his coworkers is growing due to the increasing number of infections among medical workers.
“Those who are single are coping with the situation. But those who are married, have children or live with high-risk groups are worrying about spreading the virus to their loved ones.”
So far, five of his close colleagues have contracted the virus.
“One of my fellow nurses who has a 10-month baby tested positive. She was devastated and cried all day long. She said it made her even regret becoming a nurse.”
With the resurgence in the country, major hospitals including Yonsei Severance Hospital have seen cases of double digit infections within the wards.
To prevent the virus spreading sporadically, Seoul city government has decided to preemptively test some 25-thousand hospital workers in 8 districts.
Doctors and nurses around the world are facing similar challenges.
According to the World Health Organization, around one in seven COVID-19 cases worldwide are among health workers, and that figure is as high as one in three cases in some countries.
“It’s not just the risk of infection. Every day, health workers are exposed to stress, burnout, stigma, discrimination and even violence.”
The uncertainty of not knowing when the pandemic will end is causing tremendous stress among doctors.
Since June, more than five-hundred medical workers have gone through counselling at Korea’s national center for trauma.
However, medical workers say there is a limit to what they can do, and the key solution to ending the pandemic is active cooperation from the public.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.

Reporter : jychoi@arirang.com


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