December 30, 2020 12:22
Forty people died of complications linked to coronavirus on Monday, an all-time high, and another 20 on Tuesday, bringing the total for December to 385. Nearly half of all 879 deaths seen so far this year occurred this month.
Hardest hit were elderly people in nursing homes, where about two-thirds of all deaths occurred.
Once a coronavirus infection is confirmed in a nursing home, the government puts the entire nursing home in lockdown, including medical staff and caregivers. But that turns each of them into a hotbed of infections.
Medical workers' groups warn that the government's failure to secure enough hospital beds for infected patients now puts medical professionals and other nursing-home staff at risk of infection.
In many cases, seriously ill patients died while waiting for admission to hospital beds.
On Wednesday morning, Korea reported 1,050 new cases as the number of coronavirus infections among inmates at a jail in Seoul has soared to 792.
Also, two more patients were confirmed to be infected with a new strain of coronavirus from the U.K. -- a man in his 80s and a woman in her 20 -- bringing the total here to five.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com