More than 1,300 patients had to wait more than a day because there were no beds to receive treatment. 370 people increased in one day, all in the metropolitan area. Some patients have been waiting for more than ten days.
Correspondent Kim Deok-hyeon reported.
A woman in her 40s living in Seoul.
Since my mother in her 70s, who lives separately recently, was confirmed, I take care of my health on the phone every day.
[제보자 A 씨 : 몸은 오늘은 좀 어때요? 약 꼭 챙겨 먹어야 하고….]
The mother was confirmed on the 16th and 10 days have passed, but she still has not been assigned a bed.
The elderly were excluded from home treatment as they were at risk.
That’s why I don’t even get health monitoring twice a day or advice from my medical staff.
[제보자 A 씨 : 빨리 입원시켜주실 수 있느냐 했더니 ‘병상이 없다.’ 제가 들은 말은 ‘기다리세요.’밖에 없었고. 말 그대로 방치인 거죠. 되게 애타고 너무 걱정되고.]
Like Mr. A’s mother, the number of people waiting more than a day for hospitalization is 1,310, the highest number ever.
In just one day, the number increased by 370, and in particular, those in their 70s or older accounted for 39%.
In the metropolitan area, the utilization rate of critically ill beds is 84.5%. About 15% of the remaining beds cannot be used immediately.
[이기일/중앙재난안전대책본부 제1통제관 : 병상 100%를 가동하는 게 원칙적으로는 맞는데 의료인 부족이라든지, 또 입·퇴실하는 그런 경우가 있기 때문에 다소 좀 지체가 되고 있습니다.]
Non-metropolitan areas are also on the verge of saturation.
In Daejeon and Sejong, there were only three intensive care beds each, and in Gyeongbuk, all beds were full.
The government decided to actively manage beds in these areas along with the metropolitan area.
It was decided to dispatch 50 public health specialists for two months to 21 tertiary general hospitals in the metropolitan area suffering from a manpower shortage.
In addition, it plans to secure an additional 2,000 beds in the life treatment center in the metropolitan area this month.
(Video coverage: Kim Min-cheol, video editing: Yoon Tae-ho, VJ: Shin So-young)