Health Care Workers Warn of “Mayhem” at South Korea Hospitals

South Korea will bring back pandemic restrictions—reversing its “living with COVID-19” policy for now—in a bid to curb record-breaking daily case counts and a worrying increase in severe cases, Channel News Asia reports.
 
Officials hope limits on gatherings and eateries—including barring unvaccinated people—will help buy them time to roll out booster shots and bolster medical capacity.

  • The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported a new record daily case count of 7,850 yesterday, according to Al Jazeera.
  • The number of serious cases has hit another high at 989, with ~87% of intensive care unit beds taken up in the Seoul metropolitan area—and ~81% nationwide.

 
But doctors and nurses warning of “mayhem,” and “battlefield scenes” in Seoul’s hospitals say the problem isn’t just beds—it’s a shortage of personnel.
 
“As the number of critically ill older patients increases, what is required [of hospital staff] has also increased. Already it’s been two years since the burden of cleaning hospital rooms and bathrooms, and distributing food has fallen to nurses, leaving us no time to even eat,” said Ahn Su-kyeong, a nurse at Korea’s National Medical Center.
 
Executive orders are failing to address the strain on the workforce, said Kim Hyun-tae, head of the Wonju Severance Christian Hospital’s labor union.

 
Related:
 
Omicron Arrives in Indonesia – Jakarta Globe
 
The good and bad news about the omicron variant – Vox

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