South Korea is overwhelmed, the spread of COVID-19 has never been this fast

South Korea is overwhelmed, the spread of COVID-19 has never been this fast

South Korea's daily COVID-19 cases hit more than 7,000 for the first time, overwhelming hospitals with a spike in deaths and severe cases, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said on Wednesday.

Ummatimes - Infections in South Korea skyrocketed this December after the government began easing restrictions under its "coexistence with COVID-19" scheme in November.

The Korea Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (KDCA) reported 7,175 cases and 63 deaths of COVID-19 as of Tuesday. The hospital is currently treating a record 840 critically ill patients and patients with serious illnesses.

The government will deploy additional personnel to monitor patients being treated at home as well as improve the emergency transfer system to hospitals for people with severe symptoms, Kim said during a COVID-19 response meeting.

In addition to large hospitals, private clinics will also treat COVID-19 patients.

Kim urged the elderly to get a booster vaccine because more than 35 percent of cases were found in people aged 60 years and over, who accounted for 84 percent of severe cases.

He also urged young people to be vaccinated.

South Korea has confirmed 38 cases of the Omicron variant.

As many as 80 percent of cases are in Seoul, so the government must struggle to secure hospital bed capacity in the region.

South Korea on Monday imposed a number of stringent measures, including reducing the number of people capacity for private gatherings and expanding the vaccine permit mandate.

To date, there have been 489,484 cases and 4,020 deaths of COVID-19 in the country.

According to KDCA data, 91.8 percent of the adult population over the age of 18 in South Korea has received the second stage of the COVID-19 vaccination.