본문으로 바로가기

News&Welfare

Press Release

The COVID-19 Response System Will Be Partially Changed with the Current Risk Level of “Alert” Mainta

  • Regdate2023-12-29 16:53
  • Hit4,423

The COVID-19 Response System Will Be Partially Changed with the Current Risk Level of “Alert” Maintained

 

 

 

While the COVID-19 risk level of “alert” will remain in effect, the COVID-19 response system will be partially changed to facilitate the transition back to the general healthcare system and to ensure that high-risk groups are properly protected.

 

The Coronavirus Disease 19 Central Disaster Management Headquarters (led by Cho, KyooHong, Minister of Health and Welfare) decided to maintain the current COVID-19 risk level of “alert” on Friday, December 15, 2023 in order to ensure an organic and stable pan-governmental response. The decision came as the weekly number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases* continued to fluctuate and seasonal respiratory infections remained widespread. High-risk groups will be able to continue receiving financial support for COVID-19 diagnosis, testing and treatment.

 

* % change from the previous week: (1st week of November) -1% (2nd Week of November) -28% (3rd week of November) -1% (4th week of November) +13% (5th week of November) -6% (1st week of December) +1%.

 

The COVID-19 screening centers will remain in operation until December 31, 2023 before being reintegrated into the general healthcare system, while the designation of isolated beds will be lifted to restructure the COVID-19 response system to enhance efficiency. The decision was made in consideration of the fact that the pandemic has been well controlled within the general healthcare system since the implementation of the second phase of the Crisis Level Adjustment Roadmap (released on March 29, 2023) starting on August 31, 2023.

 

 

[ Major Changes ]

 


 

 

Current (~December 2023)

 

New (January 2024~)

 

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 Screening Centers

 

Screening centers will be in operation*(medical institutions, community health centers)

*Free PCR tests

 

Screening centers will be closed.
COVID-19 diagnostic tests will be available at medical institutions*

 

* Includes institutions that prescribe orally-administered drugs

 

 

 

 

 

Diagnosis

Tests

 

Priority PCR tests are available free of charge

 

Rules on temporary National Health Insurance coverage and preemptive testing have been revised

 

 

 

 

 

Beds

 

Designated isolated beds and regular sick beds are mainly used

 

Designation of isolated beds will be lifted

 

 

 

 

 

Masks

 

The wearing of masks is mandatory at hospital-level medical institutions and resident facilities with a relatively higher risk of infection

 

Same

 

 

 

 

 

Medicine

Vaccination

 

Free of charge

 

Same

 

 

 

 

 

In-patient Treatment Cost

 

Partial support limited to severe cases

 

Same

 

 

 

 

 

Monitoring Statistics

 

Confirmed cases are closely monitored

 

Same

 

 

 

 

 

Response System

 

The response system consists of the Central Disaster Management Headquarters (led by the Health and Welfare Minister), the Central Disease Control Headquarters (under the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency), and the Local Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters

 

Same


 

The COVID-19 testing centers will be operated until December 31, 2023, considering the declining number of tests* taken, while community health centers will return to normality with the significantly enhanced role of controlling infectious diseases and promoting public health. As a result, PCR test takers who previously used screening centers will have to visit a medical institution, including institutions authorized to prescribe orally-administered drugs, in order to take a test as of January 1, 2024.

 

* No. of average daily test takers: (April~ June, 2023) 47,914 (July~ September 2023)18,616 (October 2023) 8,390

 

However, free COVID-19 tests will remain available to high-risk groups including those eligible for orally-administered medicine* and high-risk in-patients** under the temporary National Health Insurance coverage.

 

* Adults aged 60 or older and young people aged 12 or older with underlying health issues or compromised immunity

** In-patients using an ICU or a hematologic malignancy ward, patients admitted or transferred to an organ transplant ward, and in-patients using a hemodialysis unit

 

Individuals eligible for orally-administered medicine can still take free tests at medical institutions, including institutions authorized to prescribe orally-administered medicines under the new system. The same applies to ER and ICU patients, high-risk in-patients, resident patients at convalescence hospitals or mental health institutions, residents of sanatoriums, and caregivers of these types of patients(residents).

 

However, test takers will have to pay for a PCR test or an RAT test at a medical institution in the following cases: patients for whom a doctor determines that a test is necessary, patients* who are scheduled for hospitalization but are not eligible for free PCR tests, and their caregivers, as well as employees working at high-risk facilities** for whom a test is recommended, rather than mandatory, as of June 1, 2023.

 

* ER or ICU patients, high-risk in-patients, residents of convalescence hospitals, mental health institutions and sanatoriums, and caregivers of these residents

** Convalescence hospitals, sanatoriums, mental hospitals, mental health institutions, mental rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, senior welfare facilities, Korean medicine hospitals, and rehabilitation hospitals (institutions subject to preemptive tests under the existing system)

 

The designation of isolated beds used for in-patients’ COVID-19 treatment will be entirely abolished by December 31, 2023 as the general healthcare system is deemed capable of handling the pandemic*, and the fee for sick beds will be increased** on January 1, 2024.

* General isolated beds account for 97.8% (12,731) of all isolated beds (13,107) that can accommodate COVID-19 patients as of December 8, 2023

** The fee for admission to an isolated room will be increased on January 1, 2024 according to the “3rd Reorganization of Relative Value”

 

All other measures aside from these changes will remain the same. The mask-wearing mandate will continue to apply to hospital-level medical institutions and resident facilities with a high risk of infection in order to protect high-risk groups, and critically-ill patients will continue to receive financial support for hospitalization, treatment, and free vaccination and medicine as part of the effort to respond to COVID-19 consistently and effectively.


 

Current (~December 2023)

New (January 2024)

Groups of people eligible for orally-administered medicine

 

* Adults aged 60 or older, and young people aged 12 or older with underlying health issues or compromised immunity

Medical institutions

(screening centers)

 

Free PCR tests

General medical institutions

Free PCR tests

Adults aged 60 or older

Community health centers

Screening centers

 

Free PCR tests

Groups of people eligible for orally-administered medicine (same as above)

Patients scheduled for admission to a medical institution, and their

caregivers

ER or ICU patients, high-risk in-patients,

residents of convalescence hospitals, mental health institutions and sanatoriums: Free PCR tests

- Caregivers of individuals falling into one of the groups listed above: Free PCR tests

 

Patients scheduled for admission into a medical institution who do not fall into any of the above mentioned groups or their caregivers

: Take a PCR or RAT test if necessary

* Required to pay the whole test fee

Employees of high-risk facilities

Take a PCR or RAT test if necessary.

* Required to pay the whole test fee.

Anyone for whom a doctor determines a test is necessary



AttachFiles
  • pdf AttachFiles ★231215 - (MOHW) The COVID-19 Response System Will Be Partially Changed with the Current Risk Level of “Alert” Maintained.pdf ( 161.05KB / Download 1048. / Preview 104. ) Download 미리보기/음성듣기