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(LEAD) New infections fall below 30,000 amid downtrend

Health 10:09 October 13, 2022

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

SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases fell below 30,000 on Thursday amid a gradual downward trend in new infections after peaking at over 180,000 in mid-August.

The country reported 26,957 new COVID-19 infections, including 71 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 25,052,677, 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 due to fewer tests over the extended weekend that ended on Monday. But it rebounded to 15,476 on Tuesday and 30,535 on Wednesday.

The country added 25 deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 28,748. The number of critically ill patients stood at 266, up from 263 a day earlier, the KDCA said.

South Korea has seen a gradual downtrend in new infections after peaking at 180,745 cases on Aug. 17.

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 26,886 cases, Seoul reported 5,251 new infections, while Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital added 7,433. Incheon, a port city just west of Seoul, identified 1,655 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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