Guidelines for Suspected Persons Symptomatic of COVID-19
- If you are suspected to get infected with COVID-19, refrain from going outside and call a health center or the call center first for counselling (dial to 1339 or area code + 120). Foreign language services are available.
- Follow the directions given by the 1339 call center, wear a face mask and visit a medical institution operating a Screening station. Upon arrival, notify the medical staff of your overseas travel history
Visit to COVID-19 Screening station and testing
A suspected patient is moved to an isolated or separated area within the Screening station (health center or medical institution) for sample collection. If s/he tests negative, the isolation will be lifted after 14 days of mandatory isolation upon the last date of contact. If s/he tests positive, appropriate treatment will be provided depending on the symptoms.
A person under investigation (PUI) is also moved to an isolated or separated area within the Screening station (health center or medical institution) for sample collection. If s/he tests positive, appropriate treatment will be provided depending on the symptoms. However, if the test result is negative, the person will attend a health education (refrain from moving out, using public transportation, using shared areas, etc.) and be advised to comply with the guidelines suggested in the education for 14 days after developing symptoms.
Treatment and support for confirmed cases
The Korean government classifies COVID-19 cases by severity to place priority on treating more severe cases at hospitals while mild cases receive medical treatment and monitoring at residential treatment centers.
After confirmed cases are diagnosed at public health centers, healthcare personnel at city and provincial patient management teams classify them based on severity into four groups: mild, moderate, severe, and extremely severe.
Moderate, severe, and extremely severe cases are admitted to Infectious Disease Hospitals or nationally-designated treatment facilities, depending on the patients’ condition, for immediate in-hospital treatment.
Meanwhile, mild cases who do not need hospitalization are treated at residential treatment centers. These cases include those who are discharged from hospitals after receiving in-hospital care and show improvements but are still in need of treatment and those who are classified as mild cases with no need for hospitalization. Patients at residential treatment centers receive check-ups twice a day and are immediately transferred to a medical institution if their symptoms worsen. If their symptoms improve, they are released in accordance with the criteria for discharge.
In order to closely engage communities in the government’s preventive measures and alleviate the burden on their livelihood, in-hospital care and treatment costs for confirmed patients as well as testing costs for suspected cases are covered by the National Health Insurance or government funds.
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