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(2nd LD) S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases jump to 4-month high, deaths tallied at 50

Health 21:30 August 10, 2022

(ATTN: ADDS details in para 6)

SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- The number of new daily COVID-19 cases in South Korea reached a four-month high Wednesday, as the nation grapples with the fast spread of a highly contagious omicron subvariant.

The country added 151,792 new COVID-19 infections, the highest since April 13, when it reported 195,387 cases, bringing the total caseload to 20,845,973, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said. Of the new cases, 615 were from overseas.

Wednesday's figure is up from 149,897 the previous day and 119,886 from a week earlier.

The number of seriously ill patients also rose to 402, up from 364 on Tuesday.

The KDCA reported 50 new deaths from COVID-19, the highest since May 22, raising the death toll to 25,382. The fatality rate was 0.12 percent.

People wait for tests at a COVID-19 testing center in southeastern Seoul on Aug. 10, 2022. (Yonhap)

As of 9 p.m. Wednesday, the country had reported 131,518 additional cases, down 14,846 from the same time the previous day, according to health authorities and provincial governments. Daily virus cases are counted until midnight and announced the following morning.

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.

Health authorities said the latest wave of infections is likely to top the 200,000 level soon and likely reach its peak next week.

As of Wednesday, 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 6.33 million people, or 12.3 percent of the population, had gotten their second booster shots, the KDCA said.

Imported cases have been on the rise, with their daily number standing above the 400 mark this month, which is sharply higher than before the curbs were lifted.

People wait for tests at a COVID-19 testing center in southeastern Seoul on Aug. 9, 2022. (Yonhap)


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