Aug 29, 2020 15:14 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Aug 29, 2020 21:40 Asia/Tehran]
  • Surge in S Korea coronavirus sparks hospital bed shortage
    Surge in S Korea coronavirus sparks hospital bed shortage

The second wave of coronavirus in South Korea in its 16th consecutive day of triple-digit infection increase concerns about a shortage of hospital beds in Seoul.

Iran Press/Asia: The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) posted 308 new cases as of midnight Friday, the majority of them in the capital and surrounding areas.

Outbreaks have continued to erupt at churches, offices, nursing homes, and medical facilities, even after officials tightened social-distancing rules.

The spike in cases has depleted hospital facilities, with the health ministry reporting that just 4.5% of beds in greater Seoul were available for critical cases as of Friday, down from 22% a week earlier.

More than 1,000 cases have been traced to the Sarang Jeil Church in Seoul, which is at the center of the new wave of infections.

Its head, Rev. Jun Kwang-hoon, is an outspoken government critic who was also confirmed to have contracted the virus.

The church outbreak led to at least 25 new clusters, and more than 300 people who joined an anti-government protest this month together with church members have tested positive so far.

The resurgence in cases has brought the country's total reported COVID-19 cases to 19,400, including 321 deaths.

Dealing with the second wave of infections has been complicated by an ongoing strike of almost 16,000 intern and resident doctors.

The medics walked out on Aug. 21, in a dispute over the government's plans to boost the number of doctors to better deal with health crises like the coronavirus.


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