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New COVID-19 cases below 6,000 for 1st time in 6 days, critical cases at just under 1,000

All News 09:58 December 20, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases fell below 6,000 for the first time in six days Monday due partly to less testing over the weekend, but the number of new critically ill patients neared 1,000.

The country added 5,318 more COVID-19 cases, including 5,258 local infections, bringing the cumulative total to 570,414, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

The number of critically ill patients came to 997, slightly down from an all-time high of 1,025 on Sunday and 1,016 on Saturday, the KDCA said.

The country added 54 more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total to 4,776. The fatality rate stood at 0.84 percent.

People line up to take coronavirus tests at a pop-up screening clinic in World Cup Park in downtown Seoul on Dec. 19, 2021. (Yonhap)

On Saturday, the government reimposed a set of revised virus restrictions across the country, which will remain in effect until Jan. 2 to stem the spread of the virus.

It marks a reversal of the government's "living with COVID-19" scheme that began last month, with an aim to regain normalcy by relaxing virus restrictions in phased steps.

Under the new measures, the maximum size of private gatherings is limited to four people nationwide, from the previous limit of six in the capital area and eight elsewhere.

And a 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. curfew is applied to businesses, depending on their type of service.

Of the locally transmitted cases, Seoul reported 1,895 infections and Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital logged 1,475 cases.

The KDCA said 60 cases came from overseas, raising the caseload to 16,388.

khj@yna.co.kr
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