As South Korea is battling the second wave of COVID-19 infection, the outbreak is centred in Seoul where it is home to 25 million people.
The Korea Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) announced on Tuesday (1 September) that a total of 267 new cases had been reported. New cases of COVID-19 had been on the rise, and overall, South Korea reported a total of 20,449 cases as well as 326 deaths.
As reported by Reuters, the Vice Health Minister Kim Kang-lip revealed that the number of severely or critically-ill patients was at 124 earlier today (2 September). It was a jump as compared to the nine critical cases back on 18 August.
“The number in critical condition is steadily increasing,” said Mr Kim.
In the new wave of infection in South Korea, more than 40 per cent of the surge was found in people over the age of 60. This then contributed to the spike in the critically-ill COVID-19 patients, according to the nation’s health officials.
It was also reported that over the past three weeks, the surge in the coronavirus cases had depleted medical facilities, with just nine hospital beds – which was less than 3 per cent – available for critical cases in greater Seoul. Whereas 10 days ago, there was 22 per cent of hospital beds available.
The South Korean government reveals that they are working to secure more beds as they expected the number of severe cases to continue to rise as many of the patients are over 60 years old.
Mr Kim added that “only social distancing” can bring the number of new infections down, thus urging residents to cancel any trips and stay at home as much as possible.