(Third LD) South Korea’s new COVID-19 cases more than doubled weekly to nearly 40,000

(ATTN: The latest ADDS numbers for Para 7)

Seoul, July 14 (Union News)-In a week on Thursday, a new coronavirus case in South Korea experienced a resurgence of infection amid the rapid spread of a highly contagious new Omicron subvariant. It has more than doubled to nearly 40,000.

The country has added 39,196 new COVID-19 infections, including 338 from abroad, and the total number of cases has reached 18,641,278, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Thursday’s numbers also more than doubled from the 18,511 cases recorded a week ago due to an increase in infections from the end of June due to the highly contagious Omicron subspecies BA.5.

The number per day exceeded 10,000 for the first time in about three weeks on June 29, exceeded 20,000 on Saturday, and increased to 40,000 on Wednesday.

The KDCA reported 16 deaths from the virus on Thursday, killing 24,696. The case fatality rate was 0.13 percent.

The number of severely ill patients increased from 67 the day before to 69. Despite the surge in new infections, it has fallen below 100 since last month.

As of 9 pm Thursday, South Korea reported 37,134 new infections, down 917 from the same period the day before, according to local governments and health officials. Daily cases are counted until midnight and announced the next morning.

According to KDCA, the country has plunged into a wave of new viruses, ending its declining trend from a peak of more than 620,000 in mid-March, and daily infections could surge to 200,000 next month. It is said that there is.

According to KDCA, the BA.5 subvariant is expected to soon become the predominant variant in South Korea, as its share of total infections increased from 28.2% last week to 35%.

BA.5 is known to be more contagious and able to escape immunity compared to previous versions.

A further problem is that South Korea has detected the first suspicious case of the new highly mutated Omicron variant BA.2.75, and health authorities are analyzing the case while performing contact tracing.

BA.2.75, called “Centaur,” was first sequenced in India in May, and cases were found in about 10 countries, including the United States, Australia, Germany, and India.

Some scientists say this is the most contagious variant ever seen and better avoids immunity from previous infections and vaccines.

In response to this resurgence, the government has decided to extend the eligibility for a fourth COVID-19 vaccination to people over the age of 50 and people over the age of 18 in basic health.

The fourth dose is currently reserved for people in their 60s and older and those with immune disorders.

The government has also decided to forcibly quarantine people infected with the virus for seven days and maintain their obligation to wear indoor masks.

Also, designate and secure a total of 10,000 “one-stop” COVID-19 treatment centers that can be tested for viruses, receive face-to-face medical services, and receive antivirals compared to the current 6,338 facilities. I pledged. More beds for COVID-19 patients.

Despite the new wave, the government emphasized individual “autonomy and responsibility” and said it would not re-impose strict social distance rules.

“We are trying to focus on managing high-risk groups and serious cases, rather than preventing a global infection,” KDCA Commissioner Peck Kyung-Lan said at a press conference Wednesday. ..

“We advise individuals and communities to voluntarily implement the rules of social distance, rather than a universal plan,” she added. (Third LD) South Korea’s new COVID-19 cases more than doubled weekly to nearly 40,000

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