Nursing homes become big coronavirus worry

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Nursing homes become big coronavirus worry

Staff members of nursing homes in Seongdong District, eastern Seoul, line up to be tested for Covid-19 on Friday. The district office has called on all staff members of nursing homes in the district to be tested regardless of if they have symptoms or not, as clusters of Covid-19 infections have recently been based in nursing homes. [NEWS1]

Staff members of nursing homes in Seongdong District, eastern Seoul, line up to be tested for Covid-19 on Friday. The district office has called on all staff members of nursing homes in the district to be tested regardless of if they have symptoms or not, as clusters of Covid-19 infections have recently been based in nursing homes. [NEWS1]

Korea recorded an additional 155 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, marking the second day in a row that the country saw daily cases in the triple digits.  
 
Domestic cases accounted for 138, many in nursing homes and hospitals. Seventeen cases were imported.
 
One of the fastest growing clusters has arisen from SRC Hospital in Gwangju, Gyeonggi, which recorded an additional 18 cases as of Friday at noon, bringing its total cases to 124, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). The hospital produced its first case on Oct. 16.
 
Another medical center in Gyeonggi, Uijeongbu’s Master Plus Hospital, yielded one more patient as of Friday at noon, trailing behind SRC as the fastest-growing cluster in the greater Seoul area with 71 total infections.
 
A nursing home in Namyangju, Gyeonggi, had recorded 35 cases as of Friday at noon, since its first case on Oct. 22.
 
Another nursing home in Anyang, Gyeonggi, added eight more cases to its cluster Friday, resulting in a total of 34 cases.
 
Nursing homes in Busan have also been reporting growing infections.
 
Haeddeurak nursing hospital in Busan recorded a total of 84 cases as of Friday at noon, and another nursing home in the city, which had its first case when a caregiver tested positive on Oct. 20, saw two additional cases as of Friday.
 
The Ministry of Health and Welfare requested families to refrain from visiting relatives at nursing homes.
 
“As many of the clusters are based in nursing homes, we request that people refrain from paying visits for a while,” Yoon Tae-ho, a senior official of the ministry, said in a press briefing at the ministry’s headquarters in Sejong on Friday.
 
“It is imperative that each nursing home has a designated employee to oversee quarantine efforts, and that they take early precautionary measures such as making sure a caregiver who feels ill does not come to work that day.”
 
The ministry added that it is making sure that there are enough intensive care units available per region and that different regions pool their intensive care resources to ensure all patients in need of intensive medical care receive immediate attention.
 
The last time that Korea had more than 150 daily cases was on Sept. 11 when it recorded 176 additional cases.
 
Since the first case of Covid-19 infection in Korea in January, Korea has had a total of 25,698 Covid-19 infections as of Thursday. With 70 additional recoveries Thursday, its total recoveries tallied at 23,717. Two people died of Covid-19 Thursday, bringing the total deaths to 455 and the death rate to 1.77 percent.
 
BY ESTHER CHUNG   [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]

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