South Korea reports record-high COVID-19 cases, deaths

South Korea has fully vaccinated 91.7% of its adult population against the coronavirus. (file)


The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said on Saturday that South Korea reported a record 5,352 new COVID-19 infections and 70 deaths daily, while a total of nine cases from the Omicron version have been confirmed.

The government announced on Friday that people visiting restaurants, cinemas and other public places will have to show a vaccine pass. It is reducing the limit for private gatherings in the greater Seoul area from 10 currently, and 12 for those outside the capital, to eight, starting next Monday.

The hospitalization rate due to severe cases of COVID-19 was increasing rapidly, the KDCA said, taking the number of critical and critical patients to 752 as of Friday.

South Korea has also confirmed three additional Omicron cases, bringing the total to nine after a fully vaccinated couple tested positive after traveling from Nigeria last week.

To prevent the new version, officials on Friday announced a 10-day mandatory quarantine requirement for all inbound travelers for two weeks, superseding previously granted exemptions to those who are fully vaccinated.

South Korea has been battling its worst wave of infections since July, when daily cases were below 2,000, until the government changed its course to “living with Covid-19”. The number of cases reached 5,000 for the first time this week, putting pressure on the healthcare system.

The country, which has fully vaccinated 91.7% of its adult population, has so far reported a total of 467,907 COVID-19 infections, with 3,809 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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