With the persistent surge in COVID-19 cases, health authorities in South Korea have vowed to secure more sickbeds at infectious disease hospitals, and also increase the number of community treatment centers.
Senior Health Ministry official Yoon Tae-ho told a Friday briefing that one thousand more beds will be secured at public hospitals in the greater capital region including at the National Medical Center.
As of Thursday, only 52 out of the total 538 sickbeds for critically ill patients nationwide remain available - only eight of them in the Seoul metro area.
The government has pledged to increase the number of sickbeds used exclusively for COVID-19 patients.
Community treatment centers where virus patients of mild symptoms are being treated will also be increased from the current 23 nationwide. Six more locations will open in the capital area to accommodate over a thousand patients, with more centers to come next week.
The government also promised efforts would enable patients to not have to wait for hospital beds for no more than two days.