Elderly, immunocompromised patients no longer monitored
Korea has been managing Covid-19 patients at home with different methods by dividing them into an “intensive management group” — which includes people over the age of 59 and people with underlying conditions — and all others. Only the first group was under round-the-clock monitoring with two daily health checks over the phone each day.
Starting Friday, people 60 or older and people with weaker immune systems who test positive on rapid antigen tests at hospitals will be downgraded to the regular management group. Like most other patients in this group who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, they’ll voluntarily have to contact their local hospital or clinic to access remote healthcare services if their conditions worsen.
Treating these patients at smaller clinics in neighborhoods has become possible, according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters. Almost 9,000 clinics and hospitals can offer their medical service over the phone.
Korea reported 339,514 new Covid-19 infections on Friday, staying below the 400,000-mark for the second straight day. The accumulated number of patients exceeded 11 million. The number of patients in critical condition went up by four to 1,085, and 393 people died.
BY LEE SUN-MIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]