When the government switched the basic treatment policy of confirmed patients to home treatment due to the lack of medical response due to the re-spread of COVID-19, concerns are rising that “in fact, cohort isolation at the household level (group isolation of members of the infected area) has become a reality.” Some critics are also criticizing that the government has taken a balancing act by handing over the lack of hospital beds to individuals and families in a situation where an even stronger spread is expected due to the implementation of With Corona (step-by-step recovery) and Omicron mutation.
“Neutralization of self-isolation criteria … Effective cohort isolation”
According to the coverage of the Korea Daily on the 2nd, the government’s ‘home treatment principle’ policy announced on the 29th of last month is uneasy at the quarantine site, saying, “The possibility of serial infection of confirmed patients will increase.” According to this policy, confirmed patients must be treated at home unless it is an emergency, and those who live with the patient, including the patient’s family, will be quarantined for 10 days, and those who are not vaccinated will be quarantined for 20 days until the virus is incubated. People living with you can only go out for valid reasons, such as receiving medical treatment or prescription drugs. This is why it is pointed out that when a confirmed person is confirmed, virtually the entire family is quarantined, and the risk of group infection increases accordingly.
At the site, concerns are raised that the minimum standards for safe isolation are being broken. An official from a home treatment team at a public health center in Seoul said, “The government says that if the quarantine environment, including the number of toilets, does not meet the standards, it can be transferred to a treatment facility. said. This means that the appropriate standards for the quarantine environment suggested by the government are useless in the field. The official pointed out, “The situation is particularly worrisome in places that are vulnerable to group infection, such as in Gosiwon.”
It is also pointed out that there are insufficient measures to prevent additional infection of cohabitants. Kim (39), who said that her elementary school daughter was diagnosed with the virus on the 3rd of last month and was quarantined at home with her, said, “I was anxious because there were only instructions for living together, and all I had to do was check the symptoms on an AI phone every day. “I asked the public official in charge to take measures, ‘The only thing I can do is to get caught,’ but nothing has changed.”
There is also a pessimistic view that the quarantine will be prolonged due to a series of infections between families. An official from a ward office in Seoul said, “If one of the family members is confirmed and quarantined together, but the other is confirmed later, the period of group quarantine will be extended again. It would be finished in 10 days, but since facility expansion has not been done, it is a structure in which front-line officials and families take on the responsibility.”
Citizens who distrust home treatment, “I have already experienced neglect”
In fact, even before the government changed the treatment principle, more than half of the confirmed cases in the metropolitan area were being treated at home. However, the subjects were asymptomatic and mild confirmed patients under the age of 70, and in principle, at-home treatment was a choice of the individual. The problem is that distrust in home treatment has increased due to delay in the assignment of officials in charge or poor patient monitoring.
Yumo (37), an office worker who was diagnosed with the virus early last month and chose home treatment because the symptoms were not severe, said, “Since the second day of quarantine, symptoms such as coughing started calling the public health center. It continued until the day the quarantine was lifted,” he said. Yoo said, “I got a call from the official in charge, but I read the manual warning him not to go out and hung up.”
Above all, there is a great concern that the family unit quarantine policy will act as another burden on livelihood. Lee Ji-young (38), who lives in Dongjak-gu, Seoul, said, “The government’s new treatment policy can only be followed if you go to a workplace that allows you to work from home. “Isn’t there something like that?” He pointed out, “Those who do business should be compensated enough to block their way of making a living.”
Lee Jung-won reporter [email protected]
Na Kwang-hyun reporter [email protected]
Park Jun-gyu reporter [email protected]
Jooyeon Choi reporter [email protected]
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