Korea Sees Record Coronavirus Infections and Deaths

  • By Yang Ji-ho, Yang Seung-joo

    December 16, 2020 09:47

    A record 205 people were critically ill with coronavirus on Tuesday, and 13 people died on Monday, which was also the most in a day since the first case was found here in January.

    In the first two weeks of December, 74 people died, which is 1.2 times more than the total number in November.

    "Since early last month, there has been an increase in group infections among people under 40 who show either no or only light symptoms," a doctor in a hospital in Seoul said. "This has led to an increase in infections people over 60 who are more likely to fall critically ill and die."

    Cars wait in line at a drive-thru coronavirus test facility in Gangneung, Gangwon Province on Tuesday. /Yonhap

    But the government is still reluctant to impose a total lockdown. Prime Minister Chung Se-kyun said Tuesday, "We cannot lose the right timing, but we should also avoid rushing things."

    Experts warn that Korea's medical system could collapse since beds for critically ill patients are fast running out.

    Korea also hit another new daily high of coronavirus infections with 1,078 cases on Wednesday morning, surpassing 1,000 cases for the first time last weekend.

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