South Korea’s daily coronavirus cases fell below 300,000 on Friday after spiking to a record high two days earlier, but deaths hit a fresh high amid the Omicron surge.
The country reported 282,987 new Covid-19 infections, including 282,880 local cases, raising the total caseload to 5,822,626, Yonhap news agency reported, citing figures released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The Omicron-fueled surge in infections has recently led to more Covid-19 deaths, and severe and critical virus cases.
The country confirmed 229 Covid-19 deaths, breaking the previous record of 216 set Saturday. The accumulated deaths came to 9,875, and the fatality rate was 0.17 per cent.
Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said earlier in the morning that the country is expected to see the Omicron wave peak between Saturday and March 22 with daily cases going up to 370,000.
On Wednesday, daily infections hit a record high of 342,446 cases, and the accumulated virus cases surpassed the 5 million mark. The daily caseload fell to 327,549 on Thursday.
It took South Korea more than two years to reach the first 1 million coronavirus cases but only slightly over two weeks to record the next 1 million.
The third, fourth and fifth 1 million cases came even faster, in six, four and five days respectively.
Severe and critical virus cases came to 1,116, up three from the previous day. The tally’s record high was 1,151 cases on December 29.