Severe COVID Cases on the Rise

      February 18, 2022 09:21

      Severe COVID-19 cases are increasing rapidly as daily infections surpass 100,000.

      According to health authorities, 389 new severe cases were hospitalized on Thursday, 76 more than a day earlier. Their number had hovered below 300 for more than two weeks. That is triggering renewed fears of a shortage of ICU beds for critically ill patients.

      Kim Woo-joo at Korea University Guro Hospital said, "We should prepare for the possibility of severe cases reaching 5,000 given the rapid spread, although Omicron infections are less severe than other variants."

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

      But the government believes that severe cases are still within controllable range.

      "We expected that the number of severe cases would increase this week since there's a two-to-three-week interval between the surge in infections and in severe cases," Son Young-rae at the Health Ministry told reporters Thursday. "We believe the medical system could handle up to 2,000 critically ill patients."

      On Friday morning, the daily tally of new coronavirus infections stood at 109,831.

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