S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases fall below 10,000
SEOUL, March 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases fell below 10,000 Thursday, the lowest Thursday figure in two weeks, in a moderate decline in the virus trend.
The country reported 9,934 new COVID-19 infections, including 11 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 30,672,163, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
Thursday's count is down from 10,885 logged a week ago, and the lowest daily tally since 7,551 reported March 2, excluding the weekend and Monday figures that tend to sharply fall due to fewer tests conducted the previous day.
COVID-19 cases are counted for the day and made public the following morning.
South Korea reported 17 more deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, putting the death toll at 34,148. The number of critically ill patients stood at 146, down by one from the previous day.
South Korea plans to lift the mask-wearing mandate on public transportation starting next Monday, expanding the mask-free policy after removing the rule for most indoor places in late January in a big step toward pre-pandemic normalcy.
Still, the mask mandate will remain in place for medical facilities, pharmacies and other infection-prone facilities. Pharmacies at open public spaces, such as discount stores or train stations, will be exempt from the requirement.
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