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Asan Medical Center to open infectious disease facility

National 15:37 February 08, 2022

By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, Feb. 8 (Yonhap) -- Asan Medical Center, one of South Korea's five major hospitals, said Tuesday it will open a separate infectious disease facility to better battle the pandemic.

The Center for Infection Control (CIC), located next to the general hospital's main wing in Seoul, will begin operations Thursday.

It marks the first time for a private hospital to open a separate building wholly dedicated to infectious diseases.

This photo, taken Feb. 8, 2022, shows the Center for Infection Control at Asan Medical Center, one of South Korea's five major hospitals. (Yonhap)

"We will actively work to overcome the national crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic," Park Seung-il, head of the Asan Medical Center, said during the opening ceremony, expressing hope that the new clinic will serve as a leading role in battling the pandemic.

The four-story building with a three-story basement will first provide quality outpatient care for COVID-19 and for other infectious diseases once the current pandemic subsides.

The whole building is equipped with a negative pressure system that uses lower air pressure to allow outside air into the segregated environment.

The CIC also has a negative pressure-based emergency room with 29 hospital beds, 15 negative pressure rooms and 13 negative pressure hospital rooms for critically ill patients.

Asan Medical Center said it will secure the movements of COVID-19 patients, meaning each person will be treated separately despite being hospitalized on the same floor.

On Tuesday, South Korea reported 36,719 new COVID-19 infections, with the number staying above 35,000 cases for four days in a row as the highly infectious omicron variant has become the country's dominant strain.

The number of critically ill COVID-19 patients was 268. Intensive care unit beds for critically ill COVID-19 patients were 18.2 percent occupied nationwide, staying at a stable level.

khj@yna.co.kr
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