SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases stayed above 60,000 for the fifth consecutive day Saturday amid lingering concerns of another surge as the government mulls easing the indoor mask mandate.
The country reported 62,738 new COVID-19 infections, including 61 from overseas, bringing the total to 27,674,163, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
Friday's tally is slightly higher than the previous day's 62,734 and over 9,000 higher than a week earlier, KDCA data showed.
The South Korean government earlier said it will decide whether to lift the indoor mask mandate, the country's last remaining COVID-19 restriction, by the end of this month, based on various factors, including caseloads, deaths and hospitalizations.
Daily caseloads are expected to continue on a slow incremental trend for the time being. The KDCA, however, did not rule out the possibility of another virus wave this winter.
The country added 54 COVID-19 deaths, bringing the death toll to 31,029.
The number of critically ill patients stood at 428, down 14 from the previous day.
S. Korea mistakenly fires machine gun near border with N. Korea
S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases fall below 20,000 ahead of lifting of indoor mask mandate
(LEAD) N. Korea rejects alleged arms trading with Russia, warns of 'undesirable result'
(Yonhap Interview) NATO chief calls for stronger security ties with S. Korea to address China, other global challenges
Japanese teen romance film attracts 1 mln Korean viewers for 1st time in 21 yrs