SEOUL, March 19 (Korea Bizwire) — With the coronavirus outbreak dragging on, a growing number of South Koreans are staying away from the dentist.
On Internet cafes where dental clinics came together, there are a growing number of posts indicating the declining number of patients. Other postings include messages that said reservations are being canceled one after another.
“COVID-19 is said to be caused by droplets, but dentists take off their masks and a dentist’s office is a place where patients keep spitting or bleeding,” one college student said.
Staff at dental clinics are anxious as well. Dental clinics, a primary care provider, have no choice but to come into full contact with saliva and bleeding in the course of treating patients.
Dentists are preparing measures such as mandatory wearing of masks and gloves and wearing disposable gowns during surgery, but danger still exists.
Most of all, the most worrisome situation for dentists is that they must close for a few weeks if any confirmed patients visit the clinic, exposing the virus to staff members.
Therefore, some dental clinics distribute masks to all patients as well as employees, and recommend measuring body temperature and using hand sanitizers to prevent the spread of infection.
In addition, large dental clinics also examine the current symptoms and check for history of overseas trips or conduct quarantines on their own.
The government has also stepped up. To provide a stable supply of masks to dental institutions, the Korean Dental Association was designated as a mask sales destination and 80 percent of dental masks were supplied through the association since March 6.
The association decided to send some 230,000 masks that were put into a warehouse to its branches nationwide.
D. M. Park (email@example.com)