As part of the effort to move to the “living with COVID-19” phase next month, the government is taking steps for home treatment for virus patients’ expansion.
Under the said phase, social distancing measures will be relaxed and the attention of health authorities will be shifted to handling seriously sick patients instead of the entire virus cases.
The measure is being taken following the increasing demand for South Korea to gear for a “new normal”. People under the said phase have to deal with the virus being present permanently while regaining normalcy.
“As the country’s vaccination program has been gaining speed, the number of critically ill patients and the fatality rate have decreased,” according to Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum during Friday’s Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters meeting. “Considering these changes, the government will expand home treatment for COVID-19 patients in preparation for returning to normal life in phases.”
Home treatment is so far allowed but only in some cases of minors as well as patients with no or mild symptoms.
The home treatment expansion will cover virus patients below 70 whose situation does not need hospital care. Excluded from the expansion, however, are patients with living conditions that allow their probable contact with others, or those who lack access to mobile apps required for home treatment management.
The home treatment expansion is being prepared by seventeen cities and provinces.
From 1, 517 recorded on Sept. 230, the number of people allowed for home treatment has jumped to 3, 328 on Friday. Allowed patients for home treatment are mostly from the Seoul metropolitan area, with 97.1 percent, including Incheon and Gyeonggi Province, The Korea Times reported.
According to authorities, the Central Disaster Management Headquarters will fully cooperate with medical facilities and local governments for the creation of an effective home treatment system.