S.Korea Turns to Self Treatment as Omicron Fuels Soaring COVID-19 Cases

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea launched a self-treatment scheme for sufferers with gentle coronavirus signs with a purpose to release medical sources for extra severe circumstances, as new infections hit a recent excessive on Thursday as a result of quick spreading Omicron variant.

South Korea has largely been a COVID-19 mitigation success story, due to aggressive testing and tracing, social distancing and masks sporting.

However because the extremely infectious however much less lethal Omicron variant started spreading, the federal government this month began to shift its technique away from testing and tracing and in the direction of self-monitoring, analysis and at-home therapy.

From Thursday, authorities will solely present care to COVID-19 sufferers aged 60 and older or with underlying situations, whereas others monitor themselves and search medical assist from designated clinics if their situations worsen.

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Medical kits together with an oxygen saturation measurement system, a thermometer and a fever treatment – beforehand accessible to all sufferers who deal with themselves at dwelling – would now be distributed solely to precedence teams.

Officers have estimated round 13.5% of recent circumstances could be categorized as excessive threat teams.

The federal government had already scrapped contact tracing and necessary self isolation studies based mostly on international positioning system know-how.

“The earlier scheme is now not sensible in gentle of our restricted sources, and takes large social and financial prices in contrast with our medical wants,” well being ministry spokesman Son Younger-rae advised a briefing on Wednesday.

“The aim of our new Omicron response system is to minimise severe circumstances and deaths by specializing in diagnosing and treating excessive threat teams, and to forestall the saturation and collapse of our medical capability.”

South Korea’s day by day variety of new circumstances hit one other day by day document of 54,122 for Wednesday, bringing its whole infections to 1,185,361 amongst its 52 million folks, the Korea Illness Management and Prevention Company (KDCA) mentioned.

However new deaths stay low at 20, bringing the whole of 6,943 deaths.

The day by day depend has surged greater than two-fold in lower than every week, and will attain some 170,000 circumstances later this month with as much as 1 million in dwelling therapy, the KDCA has mentioned.

About 96% of South Korean adults have been totally vaccinated and virtually 65% obtained a booster shot.

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Enhancing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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