Return to Normal Hits Hurdle with Record Infections

  • By Sun Jung-min

    November 24, 2021 13:10

    Daily infections broke a new record on Wednesday morning with 4,166 and 586 severe cases, the most since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Daily infections had been hovering around 3,000 since Korea began its gradual return to normal on Nov. 1, mostly in the capital region to take up nearly 80 percent of the total.

    Serious cases are also on the rise, and some patients are dying before hospital beds become available. Three patients died last week while waiting for ICU beds, authorities said Tuesday. A total of six patients have died while waiting for available ICU beds since Oct. 31.

    People wait in line to get tested for coronavirus in Seoul on Wednesday. /Newsis

    The government is now considering emergency measures. Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said in a daily meeting at the government complex in Sejong City on Wednesday, "We are at a point where we need to review whether we should move on to the next phase or not. The situation is more serious than we expected."

    Health authorities have come to a crossroads where they need to decide whether to halt the phased return to normal temporarily in the capital region or in Seoul alone, or whether to wait for the virus to reach the endemic phase.

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