(Second LD) South Korea’s new COVID-19 cases exceeded 20,000 in a month and a half

(ATTN: Updated with the latest numbers in paragraphs 6-7)

Seoul, July 9 (Yonhap News Agency)-A new coronavirus case in South Korea bounced over 20,000 for the first time in 45 days on Saturday, alerting authorities to possible rises during the summer vacation season.

The country has added 20,286 new COVID-19 infections, including 223 from abroad, and the total number of cases has reached 18,491,435, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Saturday’s aggregate is up 963 from the previous day, almost double the 10,712 reported a week ago. It is also the first time that the daily total has exceeded 20,000 since May 25th.

The country added 19 COVID-19 deaths and increased the death toll to 24,624. The case fatality rate was 0.13 percent.

According to the KDCA, the number of critically ill patients has decreased by one to 61.

As of 9 pm on Saturday, the municipality reported 19,842 additional cases, 442 from the same period on Friday, 2.1 times more than a week ago.

Daily cases are counted until midnight and announced the next morning.

The national case curve peaked in mid-March, with more than 621,000 cases. The KDCA states that the pace of decline has recently slowed as immunity weakens and the rules of social distance are relaxed.

On Friday, South Korean health officials said the country was undergoing a new wave of COVID-19, citing the rapid spread of highly contagious mutations in the Omicron strain.

Authorities say that the spread of BA.5, a subvariant of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, is more infectious than previous variants and is resistant to immunity from previous COVID-19 infections.

South Korea plans to introduce a stricter plan to contain the COVID-19 revival by next week.

Of the 20,063 cases of local infection reported on Saturday, Seoul accounted for 4,897, Gyeonggi Province in the surrounding area reported 5,595, and Incheon recorded 1,011 infections. The three areas accounted for 57.2 percent of all locally infected cases. (Second LD) South Korea’s new COVID-19 cases exceeded 20,000 in a month and a half

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