S. Korea's new COVID-19 infections over 100,000 for 3rd day on Omicron spread | Inquirer News
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S. Korea’s new COVID-19 infections over 100,000 for 3rd day on Omicron spread

/ 02:47 PM February 20, 2022
South Korea covid

People wait in line for a COVID-19 test at a testing site set up near the Seoul Station in central Seoul, Sunday. (Yonhap via The Korea Herald/Asia News Network)

SEOUL — South Korea’s daily coronavirus cases exceeded 100,000 for the third day in a row Sunday due to the spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant.

The country reported 104,829 new COVID-19 infections, including 104,732 local cases, raising the total caseload to 1,962,837 according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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The death toll from COVID-19 came to 7,405, up 51 from a day earlier. The fatality rate was 0.38 percent, the KDCA said.

The number of critically ill COVID-19 patients was up 31 to 439.

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Of the locally transmitted cases, Seoul registered 22,100 new cases while the surrounding Gyeonggi Province and the western port city of Incheon added 31,326 and 9,188 cases, respectively. Cases from overseas rose 97 to 28,100.

South Korea has seen caseloads spike in recent weeks as the Omicron variant raged across the country, with the daily counts nearly doubling in just a week after surpassing 50,000 for the first time on Feb. 10.

The daily caseload exceeded 100,000 for the first time on Friday.

Despite the virus surge, the government on Friday decided to ease the business hour curfews for cafes and restaurants by one hour to 10 p.m., for the next three weeks, a move unwelcomed by some experts amid concerns over a further virus uptick.

The decision came amid a strong backlash from small merchants and self-employed people who have complained that prolonged antivirus measures are dragging down sales.

The partially relaxed antivirus curbs will be in place until March 13, with the cap on private gatherings unchanged at six people, the health agency said.

As of Sunday, 30.46 million people, or 59.4 percent of the country’s 52 million population, had received booster shots. The number of fully vaccinated people came to 44.30 million, accounting for 86.3 percent, it said. (Yonhap)

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TAGS: COVID-19, Health, Omicron variant, South korea
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