On Thursday, the nation reported more than 1-thousand daily cases for the second day in a row.
All but 21 were domestic cases.
The capital city of Seoul alone had more than 400 for the first time.
Temporary testing sites set up throughout the area on Monday have tested more than 37 thousand people, 68 of whom have tested positive.
The situation appears worse than it’s been at any time so far.
“We had more total daily deaths, total active cases, total cases in severe critically ill condition, and the daily number of positive cases is at record highs. Our current situation is really the worst that we’ve ever been. ”
The expert predicted that there will be more critically ill patients in the near future because more tests are being done on people 60 and older.
As a result, hospitals are facing a crisis-level shortage of beds for those in critical condition.
As of Wednesday, out of 78 total hospital beds for critically ill patients in Seoul, there was only one left, and in the surrounding Gyeonggi-do Province, there were none.
The expert said that to prevent more deaths, hospitals need to secure more ICU beds that are well-equipped and staffed.
“If you don’t have access to an ICU bed when you are severely ill. your chance of dying is much higher. This bed shortage, specially ICU bed shortage, is I think the most critical factor in determining the outcome of this third wave and this needs to be addressed urgently.”
Although there has been a program to train more nurses to work in ICU settings over the last eight weeks, training ICU critical care doctors cannot happen overnight, meaning staff shortages cannot be fixed right away.
“Seoul Metropolitan Government has said there are currently more than 5-thousand medical workers trying to control the crisis, but it is still not enough. The city has asked retired healthcare workers to return to fight against COVID-19.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.”