New COVID-19 cases in S. Korea hit record high of over 56,000 amid Omicron surge
SEOUL — The number of daily COVID-19 cases in South Korea reached a fresh high of 56,431 on Sunday, as the highly transmissible Omicron variant continued to spread fast across the nation.
The fresh cases, including 56,297 local infections, raised the country’s total caseload to 1,350,630, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The latest figure marks the fourth day in a row with daily infections above the 50,000 level. A total of 54,941 cases were reported Saturday.
New daily infections have surged sharply recently in the country due to the Omicron variant, reaching over 40,000 for the first time Wednesday, just four days after breaking the 30,000 mark on Feb. 5.
The death toll from COVID-19 came to 7,081, up 36 from Saturday. The fatality rate was 0.52 percent, the KDCA said.
The number of critically ill COVID-19 patients was 288, up 13 from a day earlier, the KDCA said. The daily tally has stayed in the 200s for 16 days in a row.
The number of patients receiving at-home treatment also rose to an all-time high of 214,869.
Health authorities have warned that the daily new cases could hit 170,000 by around the end of this month. The National Institute of Mathematical Sciences, South Korea’s state-run think tank, estimated the figure could even soar as high as 360,000 by early next month.
As of Sunday, 29.42 million people, or 57.3 percent of the country’s 52 million population, had received booster shots. The number of fully vaccinated people came to 44.22 million people, accounting for 86.2 percent. (Yonhap)
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