Officials are scrambling to secure more I.C.U. beds after an explosion of coronavirus infections in South Korea.
The country has aimed to provide patients with hospital beds within a day of getting a diagnosis.
But as of Monday, only 42 beds were available nationwide, the government said, and several provinces had none.
A quiet fear has taken hold in South Korea, which for much of the year was held up as a model for the rest of the world.
The government is weighing whether to impose a set of restrictions just short of lockdown for the first time if cases cannot be brought under control. Seoul banned gatherings larger than five people.
“Unlike in the past, this time the virus seems to pop up everywhere and no place is safe,” said Myeong Hae-kyung, a chief nurse in Daegu.
Context: High-risk places like gyms and bars are still closed, but restaurants, movie theaters and other businesses are open.
The government has been wary of the economic effects of more restrictions, and has opted instead for ramping up testing and isolation.
Courtesy – NYT