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(LEAD) New infections jump to over 30,000 after extended weekend

Health 10:19 October 12, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with details in last 3 paras; CHANGES headline)

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases jumped to over 30,000 on Wednesday on increased tests following the extended weekend, though daily infections have been on a downward trend.

The country reported 30,535 new COVID-19 infections, including 70 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 25,025,749, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

The daily caseload fell below 10,000 for the first time in 14 weeks at 8,981 on Monday but rebounded to 15,476 on Tuesday.

The country added 15 deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 28,723. The number of critically ill patients stood at 263, down from 313 a day earlier, the KDCA said.

South Korea has seen a gradual downtrend in new infections after peaking at over 180,000 cases on Aug. 17.

In response to the waning infections, health authorities have eased antivirus restrictions, including lifting all outdoor mask mandates and the COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing requirement for inbound travelers.

But authorities have warned of a possible outbreak of a "twindemic" of COVID-19 and the seasonal influenza this winter.

Of the locally transmitted 30,465 cases, Seoul reported 6,801 new infections, while Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital added 8,484. Incheon, a port city just west of Seoul, identified 1,870 new cases.

This photo taken Oct. 11, 2022, shows outbound passengers at Narita International Airport as Japan lifted the ban on the number of inbound passengers and resumed visa-free travel for visitors from specific countries, including South Korea, the same day. (Yonhap)

This photo taken Oct. 11, 2022, shows outbound passengers at Narita International Airport as Japan lifted the ban on the number of inbound passengers and resumed visa-free travel for visitors from specific countries, including South Korea, the same day. (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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