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S. Korean officials work to secure more ICU beds for COVID-19 patients Updated: 2021-11-19 17:05:02 KST

After surpassing 3-thousand cases this Wednesday, the number of new cases has stayed above that mark for three days in a row.
Authorities on Friday reported 3,34 new infections.
Following the hike in cases, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters said that it's once again running a special task force from next Monday.
Officials will comb through the capital region and inspect whether current prevention measures are being followed.
Around 1-thousand virus prevention officials will also be employed at schools, which will be opening doors to all students from next Monday.
Meanwhile, the healthcare sector in the greater Seoul appears to be on the verge of overcapacity, with ICU beds more than 78 percent full.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced Friday morning how they are tackling this issue from all angles.
First, they've increased the use of home treatment over the past two months.
They're also designating more hospitals as being specialized in infectious diseases, a move that will add up to 600 more beds.
Under the previously-issued administrative order, officials are currently working to secure some 1-thousand beds.
But just as important as beds are trained staff to treat patients.


"We are currently in the process of securing 1,312 more medical staff, and we've already found 505 more people who can start working immediately in ICU units. "

Authorities are also zeroing in on care centers and nursing homes, which have seen many cluster infections.
Care workers at these facilities in the capital region will be required get tested twice a week, and visits will not be allowed.
Officials are also urging people to get their booster jabs, with top health official Jeong Eun-kyung emphasizing that it should no longer be a choice but a requirement.
Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum also noted this morning that if the country is unable to weather this storm, authorities might have no choice but to pull the brakes on the 'gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions,'
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News
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