A little more than 100 ICU beds are left in the capital.
Health authorities reported as of Thursday close to 84 percent of ICU beds for critically ill COVID-19 patients have been filled in the greater Seoul region.
Seoul city alone has more than 85 percent of its beds full.
"We're trying to secure more ICU beds than the target set by the administrative order by designating more COVID-19 base hospitals and beds in the capital region."
With this move, health authorities are trying to acquire some one thousand more beds in the capital region.
"Kangnam general hospital in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do Province is one of the hospitals that's been designated as a COVID-19 specialist hospital.
Construction work is currently underway to transform the 6th to 8th floors into special isolation rooms for coronavirus patients."
But the change won't happen overnight.
An official at the hospital said that from training new staff to bringing in special new equipment,.. the whole process will most likely take at least three weeks.
The same goes for most other hospitals that are preparing to accept new COVID-19 patients.
But with the infection cases piling up everyday, health authorities are desperate for a quicker response.
" We've almost exhausted all of our medical capacity with the spike in critically ill patients and deaths, especially with infections that are centered around the elderly in the capital region. "
Currently authorities are resorting to stopgap measures.
These include expanding at-home treatment and doing their best to maximize the resources they have.. by assigning beds first to those who need them the most.
Kim Yeon-seung Arirang News