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(LEAD) S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases climb to over 20,000 amid eased restrictions

National 09:56 May 16, 2023

(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 4-6)

SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases rose to over 20,000 on Tuesday, as the country ended almost all antivirus restrictions to move on from the COVID-19 pandemic of the past three years.

The country reported 23,680 cases, including 34 imported cases, bringing the total caseload to 31,438,960, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Tuesday's tally was slightly higher than the 21,681 cases the country reported a week ago. The corresponding figure was 15,736 two weeks.

It was the largest daily figure since Jan. 27, when the country reported 31,695 new COVID-19 cases.

For the last 10 days, the average infection cases were 18,812.

The country added 13 COVID-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 34,623. The fatality rate was 0.11 percent.

The number of critically ill patients came to 150, same as the previous day, the KDCA said.

The country is set to lower the national crisis level for COVID-19 to "alert" from "serious" in June and remove most antivirus measures after the World Health Organization declared the end of the COVID-19 global health emergency.

The central shopping district of Myeongdong, Seoul, is busy with visitors on May 14, 2023. (Yonhap)

The central shopping district of Myeongdong, Seoul, is busy with visitors on May 14, 2023. (Yonhap)

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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