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(2nd LD) S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases hit 7-week low for Thursday as virus wanes

All News 22:29 September 08, 2022

(ATTN: ADDS approval of updated vaccine in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, Sept. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's COVID-19 pandemic continued its downward trend, with the daily cases falling to the lowest for a Thursday figure in seven weeks.

The country reported 72,646 new COVID-19 infections, including 229 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 23,864,560, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Thursday's tally is down from 85,540 the previous day and the lowest for the day of the week since 71,129 counted on July 21. Daily infections have slowed down after peaking at around 180,000 in mid-August in the latest virus resurgence.

South Korea added 64 COVID-19 deaths, up eight from a day earlier, raising the death toll to 27,313.

The number of critically ill patients stood at 493, down by 28 from the previous day.

As of 9 p.m. Thursday, the country had reported 66,542 new cases, down 3,450 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.

The government has called for vigilance against the virus amid growing transmission risks, with heavy travel expected during the four-day Chuseok holiday that starts Friday.

Some 6,000 one-stop COVID-19 treatment centers will be open during the holiday to provide COVID-19-related medical services, including tests.

Meanwhile, the nation's drugs regulator said it conditionally approved an updated version of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, which targets the omicron strain.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety approved Moderna's vaccine Spikevax, which is expected to provide up-to-date protection against the omicron variant.


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