March 07, 2022 12:45
Cumulative coronavirus cases in Korea are expected to surpass 5 million this week and fatalities 10,000.
Already 1 million infected people are in self-isolation at home.
The cumulative number of infections is expected to reach 5 million around Wednesday as the daily tally hovers around 200,000. On Monday morning, it stood at 210,716, bringing the total to some 4.67 million.
Deaths reached 9,096 as of Monday morning and are expected to exceed 10,000 by the end of the week as the daily average stands at 148.
Over 90 percent of the deaths are in high-risk groups among the elderly, though five to six patients in their 50s are also losing their lives every day.
The number of critically ill patients has been increasing by around 100 every few days to reach 955, while some 1.12 million were stuck in self-isolation.
The government believes the Omicron variant is less lethal than other strains of COVID-19 and hopes that the number of hospital beds remains stable. But health experts warn that surging infection cases will test their capacity.
Ma Sang-hyuk of the Korea Vaccine Society said, "Deaths among infected people in high-risk groups should be prevented by hospitalizing them instead of telling them to self-isolate at home."
Choi Jae-wook at Korea University said, "At a time when the number of infections is surging, we cannot simply leave treatments to designated hospitals. We need all clinics to set up divided areas to treat coronavirus patients, which is being done in the U.S. and other countries."
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