S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases over 170,000 for 2nd day amid Omicron wave | Inquirer News
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S. Korea’s new COVID-19 cases over 170,000 for 2nd day amid Omicron wave

/ 05:43 PM February 24, 2022
S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases over 170,000 for 2nd day amid omicron wave

People wait in line to receive COVID-19 tests at a makeshift testing station in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap via The Korea Herald/Asia News Network)

SEOUL — South Korea’s daily COVID-19 cases stayed above 170,000 for the second consecutive day Thursday amid the fast spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant across the country.

The country reported 170,016 new COVID-19 infections, including 169,846 local cases, raising the total caseload to 2,499,188, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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The number is slightly down from a record high of 171,452 on Wednesday.

The country added 82 more deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, raising the death toll to 7,689. The fatality rate was 0.31 percent, according to the KDCA.

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The number of critically ill COVID-19 patients came to 581, up sharply from the previous day’s 512. The figure rose nearly threefold in a week from around 200 cases early last week.

The health authorities have said that the Omicron wave could reach a peak by early next month, with the daily caseload rocketing up to 270,000. Experts also forecast that serious cases would jump to more than 1,000 by that time.

Officials say the Omicron surge is a “necessary” step to move on to an endemic phase from the pandemic, citing its milder severity, and the government will continue to focus on dealing with serious cases and vulnerable groups.

To better respond to fears of and complaints over the recent virus wave among citizens, the government vowed to beef up the workforce in charge of managing at-home patients and for other supportive roles.

As of Wednesday, 30.85 million people, or 60.1 percent of the country’s 52 million population, had received booster shots. The number of fully vaccinated people came to 44.32 million, accounting for 86.4 percent, according to the KDCA. (Yonhap)

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