Hospital Beds for Seriously Ill Patients Getting Scarce

  • By Yang Ji-ho, Heo Sang-woo

    December 02, 2020 13:38

    Twenty-one Koreans became seriously ill with coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total to 97. That reduced the number of available beds for severe cases to 66.

    The Ministry of Health and Welfare said Tuesday that out of 548 hospital beds across the country available for seriously ill patients, only 66 are now left.

    The number of infections whose sources remain a mystery stood at 1,172 as infections rise.

    Seriously ill patients are being treated in a hopsital in Seoul on Nov. 3.

    Meanwhile, a study suggests that coronavirus can be passed on by droplets from a carrier to a person standing as far as 6.5 m away. The prevailing belief was that droplets could not travel more than 2 m.

    But according to the study by Lee Joo-young at Jeonbuk National University, a person who sat 6.5 m away from a COVID-19 carrier in a restaurant in Jeonju contracted the virus on June 17. Another person who sat 4.8 m away from the carrier also tested positive three days later.

    The carrier and the two other people were facing each other, but other restaurant patrons who sat with their backs against the carrier tested negative. The small restaurant did not have adequate ventilation, while two large air conditioners were in operation blasting out air a 1 m/s.

    The wind was blowing in the direction of the two patrons from the carrier. Researchers said indoor restaurants and coffee shops must keep tables at least 2 m apart and consider setting up dividers.

    Some 511 new cases were added to Korea's daily tally of coronavirus infections on Wednesday morning, rising above 500 again after four days below.

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