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Number of COVID-19 deaths in S. Korea hits record high Updated: 2020-12-23 05:34:01 KST

South Korea reported a record-high of 24 coronavirus deaths for the second day in a row on Tuesday.
The number of deaths has been increasing by double digits over the past week, the steepest rise since the start of the outbreak.
Based on the official government tally, Korea has reported a total of 135 deaths since last Tuesday, which comprises around 19-percent of the total number of COVID-19 deaths so far.
Authorities have pointed to an increase in the number of critically ill patients from high-risk facilities frequented by senior citizens.
A high number of them succumbed to the virus while receiving treatment while some of them were confirmed post mortum.

"The fatality rate for those aged 60 or older is very high, at the same time they comprise almost 90-percent of the total number of critically ill patients. The recent spike in COVID-19 deaths stems from cluster infections in places like medical facilities and retirement hospitals.

As a result, authorities have made it mandatory for employees in these facilities to be regularly tested for the coronavirus and are allowing the use of antigen test kits that produce quick results.
There are just 44 hospital beds for the critically ill left in South Korea less than eight-percent of the country's total.
There are none left at all in Gyeonggi-do province or in six other regions of the country.
In the Seoul Metropolitan Area, 248 patients are having to stay at home due to a shortage of hospital beds.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.

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