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Can S. Korea hold up with current eased COVID-19 restrictions? What doctors have to say. Updated: 2021-11-11 05:00:21 KST

The current uptick in daily COVID-19 cases and the increase in the number of critically ill patients are about to rise at an even faster pace, according to medical experts.

"The current critically ill patients are not from the "With COVID" phase. They were patients already infected since October and the fourth wave with many young people infected especially with eased measures in October. The number of critically ill patients from the "With COVID" phase will start to show next week and the week after."

At the moment the government says the current medical system is standing strong. with the government expanding medical infrastructure for the care of COVID-19 patients.
However, experts are saying that this isn't a sustainable situation for medical workers.

"The professors that are at the ICUs taking care of patients are in deep mental crisis due to the harsh requests being asked of them. We can somehow come up with more ICUs, but that doesn't do much when we don't have enough doctors or nurses."

In addition, COVID-19 patient care rooms are different from regular ICUs as medical workers need to wear HAZMAT suits and the room needs to be isolated with negative pressure a system that takes up more space.
That means less available medical resources AND quality care for other patients.
The threshold for people reaching this stage doctors say is around 1-thousand COVID-19 intensive care patients.

"First at least send all patients over 60 regardless of vaccination status to COVID-19 focused hospitals. Have only under 50's be treated at home. Unless we have a systemized method like this, we may have a situation which many people may not receive the care they need."

Referring to Israel, an expert added that booster shots should play an important role in calming the situation.
In addition, there are still some people in the country that are yet to be vaccinated.

"When the infections increase, breakthrough cases will increase as well. Just because a 100 people are vaccinated, not all of them will achieve the immunity needed."

And what happens if the government finds that the COVID-19 situation to be a threat to the medical system in that case the country will once again see restrictions as part of their daily lives.
At the moment, the government says around 5-thousand daily cases is the limit and the experts all agreed that it will probably happen.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.
Reporter : tkim@arirang.com
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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