S. Korea’s new COVID-19 cases fall; deaths rise to 3-month high
SEOUL. KAZINFORM - The number of new daily COVID-19 cases in South Korea fell Thursday after reaching a four-month record high the previous day, but new deaths climbed to a three-month high amid the fast spread of a highly contagious omicron subvariant, Yonhap reports.
The country added 137,241 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total caseload to 20,983,169, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said. Of the new cases, 522 were from overseas.
Thursday's tally fell from 151,792 the previous day but surged when compared with 107,859 a week earlier.
The number of seriously ill patients also increased to 418, up from 402 on Wednesday. The tally was also the largest in three months.
The KDCA reported 59 new deaths from COVID-19, the highest since May 12, raising the death toll to 25,441. The fatality rate was 0.12 percent.
Health authorities said about 90 percent of the new COVID-19 deaths came from highly vulnerable people, including people aged 60 and older and those with underlying health conditions.
As of Thursday, 44.66 million, or 87 percent of the country's population, had received full two-dose vaccinations, and 33.5 million, or 65.3 percent, had received their first booster shots.
About 6.4 million people, or 12.5 percent of the population, had gotten their second booster shots, the KDCA said.
Imported cases have continued to rise in recent weeks, with such infections hitting a record high of 615 Wednesday. Imported cases stayed over the 400s this month.
Daily COVID-19 cases have trended downward after peaking at around 620,000 in mid-March. But since authorities lifted almost all anti-pandemic curbs in April, infections have shown signs of spiking again, apparently due to increased movement and public gatherings.