S.Korean PM urges efficient hospital bed management amid Covid surge

South Korean Prime Minister Kim Bookyum on Friday called for efficient hospital bed management as the country continued to see rising numbers of seriously ill Covid-19 patients with no signs of a decrease in daily infections.

Kim said the government’s priority will be to quickly add hospital beds and support the medical resources needed in hospitals as soon as possible, the Yonhap News Agency reports.

“There are concerns that our journey to normalcy may be interrupted for a while if we cannot overcome this crisis,” Kim said during a meeting with the chiefs of 22 tertiary hospitals in the greater Seoul area.

“We will improve our hospital bed management system.”

The Prime Minister’s call comes amid mounting concerns about ICU bed capacity in the capital region, which accounts for around 80 percent of daily Covid-19 cases in South Korea.

On Thursday, 78.2 percent of the intensive care beds in the capital area were occupied, in Seoul 80.9 percent.

The number of critically ill patients has risen in the past few weeks after the country began its “Living With Covid-19” program this month with facilitated social distancing for people’s gradual return to normal life, with the final number being 500 exceeded.

Serious patients will be sent to available intensive care beds whether they are in the capital or other areas, Kim said.

He also urged hospitals to move virus patients in intensive care units quickly to normal recovery rooms when their health improves.

Kim previously said the number of beds used in the intensive care unit appears too large compared to the actual number of seriously ill virus patients.


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