[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] Infant's death raises concerns over Covid care

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[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] Infant's death raises concerns over Covid care

A seven-month-old infant who was on home treatment died of Covid-19 last week. Last Friday, the parents who were on home treatment with the child called 119 when he started convulsing.
After arriving at the family's home, paramedics contacted about ten hospitals to secure a bed, but none were available. The infant arrived in a university hospital 17km (10miles) away about 38 minutes later but was declared dead on arrival.
A man in his 50s who was also on home treatment was found dead last Saturday morning. He allegedly told his family that he was not feeling well during a phone call the day before.
Park Hyang, head of the Central Disaster Management Headquarters' quarantine team, told YTN radio that the government communicates in real-time with the fire department to get updates of hospitals’ occupancy status.
She clarified as there is limited space reserved for Covid-19 patients, there could be a delay when treating patients. Park emphasized that the government is doing everything it can to solve this issue.
“Didn’t they think to classify infants as a high-risk group? The child was only seven-months-old, he needed special care. This is so sad.”
“Why does the care for the old come before an infant? I don’t understand.”
“The baby must have died of a feverish convulsion. He didn’t get treatment in time and there must have been limited medication available for a seven-month-old baby... High fevers are very dangerous for infants.”
“The hospitals didn’t take in the baby immediately when he was convulsing with fever. Of course, he ended up dying. He couldn’t get proper treatment because the system focuses only on quarantining the sick. The baby didn’t die because of Covid-19, he died because of the oh-so-brilliant quarantine system.”
“There are fewer emergency rooms available. We should secure more sickbeds for Covid-19 patients, including emergency rooms.”
“If we don’t ramp up the quarantine, soon people will be dying on the streets. School is starting in a few weeks. All of the classes should continue online. The quarantining is about to turn into neglecting the sick."

BY LEE SI-YEOUNG, YOO JI-WOO [yoo.jiwoo@joongang.co.kr]
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