It is a cruel winter. As soon as December began, the number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 exceeded 5,000, and the number of severe cases exceeded 700. Both are the largest ever. The possibility of the introduction of the omicron-mutated virus is increasing. Nevertheless, the government is still hesitant to strengthen quarantine measures. If Korea’s first Omicron mutation infection is confirmed on the 1st, the pressure to stop ‘with Corona (step-by-step recovery)’ is expected to intensify.
As of 00:00 on the same day, there were 5,123 new cases of COVID-19. It is the first time that the number of daily confirmed cases exceeded 5,000 since January 20, last year, when the first case of COVID-19 in Korea was reported. The number of critically ill patients hospitalized was 723, breaking the record for the first time, exceeding 700. According to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, the average daily number of confirmed cases in Korea for one week from the 25th of last month to this day was 3,870.4, an increase of 706.5 people (22.3%) from the previous week (November 18-24).
60 cases per day in severe cases … Risk of collapse of the medical system
As the rapid spread continues, the hospital bed situation is unlikely to improve. As of 5 p.m. the previous day, 89.2% of intensive care beds in the metropolitan area were full. In Seoul, 313 out of 345 beds (90.7%), Gyeonggi-do, 254 out of 290 beds (87.6%), and Incheon, 70 out of 79 beds (88.6%) are in use. The situation in the non-metropolitan area also worsened, so the nationwide utilization rate soared to 78.8%.
The government plans to expand more than 50 beds for critically ill patients, 190 beds for moderate patients, and 1,100 beds for moderate patients by the middle of this month. Experts warn that the critical care system is on the verge of collapse.
Omicron mutation influx is also a matter of time
There are also signs that the inflow of Omicron mutations into Korea will be faster than expected. Although the analysis of four suspected cases of Omicron infection is in progress, there are many opinions from the quarantine authorities and experts that it is highly likely to be Omicron. Even if it is not this time, considering the international infection rate, domestic inflow is close to a matter of time.
In the COVID-19 Daily Recovery Support Committee, members of the quarantine and medical subcommittee strongly suggested the need to strengthen quarantine. However, it is known that opposition from other fields is not formidable. Even on this day, the government is repeating the explanation of “gathering opinions” on the measures to strengthen quarantine, and cannot let go of With Corona. If the quarantine is strengthened by limiting the number of gatherings or business hours, it seems that people cannot do this or that for fear that people will think that they are retreating to social distancing before Weed Corona.
Experts “With Corona insistence, stop now”
Choi Jae-wook, a professor at the Department of Preventive Medicine at Korea University College of Medicine, said, “The government is trapped in a self-made with corona frame saying ‘there is no retreat’. It is not too late to do so,” he emphasized.
Im So-hyung reporter email@example.com
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