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(LEAD) S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases spike amid resurgence woes

All News 11:34 July 05, 2022

(ATTN: ADDS details at bottom, photos)

SEOUL, July 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases sharply increased Tuesday amid concerns about the virus' resurgence following eased social distancing restrictions.

The country added 18,147 new COVID-19 infections, including 171 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 18,413,997, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Tuesday's tally nearly tripled from 6,253 the previous day and almost doubled from 9,894 a week ago.

The KDCA has said the pace of decline has recently slowed down amid waning immunity and eased social distancing rules.

The country added two COVID-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 24,576. The fatality rate stood at 0.13 percent.

The number of critically ill patients fell by 2 to 54, the KDCA said.

Giant swimming facilities at a public park in Ddukseom, eastern Seoul, bustle with visitors, in this June 26, 2022, file photo. (Yonhap)

South Korea's COVID-19 cases have been trending downward since they peaked at an all-time high of over 620,000 in mid-March.

But the virus's pace of decline has recently slowed amid waning immunity and eased social distancing rules.

The weekly new COVID-19 cases stood at 59,844 in the June 26-July 2 period, up 21.2 percent from a week ago, marking the first jump in 15 weeks.

Authorities called for closer monitoring of the spreading virus, as its reproduction rate (RT) rose to 1.05, topping 1 for the first time in 14 weeks. An RT reading over 1 means the virus will continue its propagation, while a reading below 1 means the virus is doomed to extinction.

Of the 17,976 locally transmitted cases, Seoul accounted for 4,777 cases, with the surrounding Gyeonggi Province reporting 4,881 cases. There were 920 infections in Incheon, around 30 kilometers west of Seoul. The three areas accounted for 58.8 percent of all infection cases.

Health authorities warned of a virus resurgence as subvariants of the coronavirus are spreading and more people are traveling for summer holidays.

The June 23, 2022, file photo shows international travelers crowing Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

jwc@yna.co.kr
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