Seoul Is a ‘COVID-19 War Zone’

South Korea health minister announced a fresh line of attack against a threatening third wave of COVID-19, describing Seoul as a “war zone,” NPR reports.

New cases yesterday exceeded 600 for the second day in a row. The country has reached 38,000+ total cases and about 550 deaths.

Although those numbers are far below many countries, South Korea is on track to revisit its February peak—and the influx of patients is straining hospitals nationwide.

Just 55 ICU beds remain.

In response, officials are:

  • Stepping up testing with faster antigen tests

  • Beefing up contact tracing—potentially drawing on police, military, and civil servant support

  • Ramping up restrictions

Winter is also brining a worrying spike in cases to Japan, which has also deployed its military to help with contract tracing and support to medical staff, CNN reports.

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