South Korea’s COVID-19 situation continues to worsen as the country enters the weekend.
Reporting more than a thousand cases for four straight days the country’s medical system is under pressure.
That being said, the government is working to obtain more available beds for critically ill patients.
Our Kim Do-yeon reports.
With the third wave of COVID-19 hitting South Korea hard medical infrastructure is under pressure as more patients require critical care and there are only 48 ICU units available across the country as of Saturday afternoon.
To obtain more hospital beds for patients, the government issued an executive order telling large medical centers, both public and private, to reserve at least 1 percent of licensed beds as COVID-19 critical care units.
Around 40 of the large private medical centers, including university-run facilities, are subject to the order.
This is the first time such an order has been placed on private institutions and having 1 percent of all licensed beds set aside for critical care could be a challenge.
This comes as South Korea reported 1,053 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and all but 24 were local transmissions.
Currently, the average number of daily cases has surpassed the threshold for raising social distancing to level three but the government is still hesitant and is looking closely into the situation.
“This weekend will be a turning point on whether to raise the social distancing level. To avoid having to endure even bigger inconveniences and pain than now, we ask that everyone participate in the social distancing measures.”
In addition, health authorities are trying to ensure that current measures are maximized by closing loopholes that are being exploited.
For example, poker pubs will not be able to operate for the next ten days.
Such businesses were registered as regular restaurants allowing them to operate until 9 PM, but many of these venues had cases in the past couple of weeks.
Ski resorts outside capital regions will now close after 9 PM as well.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.

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