SNUH develops life treatment center model to manage mild cases of COVID-19

There are currently more than 16 life treatment centers in operation in South Korea.
By Dean Koh
04:18 AM

Above image: A nurse at the monitoring center in Seoul is checking the status of a patient staying at the Life Treatment Center in Mungyeong through a video call.

Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) in South Korea treats COVID-19 patients with mild or no symptoms at an isolation facility called "Life Treatment Center." The hospital first developed the model by converting its training center with 100 rooms located in Mungyeong, North Kyeongsang province, into a Life Treatment Center.

COVID-19 patients who do not need to be hospitalized, are sent to this facility and monitored to prevent the spread of infection. Medical staff at a monitoring center in Seoul, 100 miles away from the Life Treatment Center takes care of these patients. Doctors and nurses examine them twice a day through video calls. Medical data such as electrocardiogram (ECG), blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate, and breathing rate is acquired by vital sign monitors and transmitted in real time to the monitoring center.

This model of treating mild cases of COVID-19, designed and suggested by SNUH has been adopted and there are currently more than 16 Life Treatment Centers in operation in South Korea.

THE LARGER TREND

As of April 6 2020, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 47 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19. This is the first time the number of daily confirmed cases has dropped to under 50 since its February 29 peak. 

According to a WEF report, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha explained that a joined up response between different regional authorities, particularly after a spike of cases caused by super-spreader patient 31, as well as extensive and rapid testing for the virus, has been instrumental in the government’s containment efforts of the coronavirus.

ON THE RECORD

"To classify patients by severity and provide appropriate medical care is the key that Korea's healthcare system hasn't collapsed even though the confirmed COVID-19 cases have reached almost 9,000," said Yon Su Kim, President and CEO of SNUH.