S. Korea’s new COVID-19 cases rise to over 13,000 amid eased virus curbs

South Korea’s new COVID-19 cases bounced back to over 13,000 on Wednesday following an extended weekend, as the country is working to return to pre-pandemic normalcy by easing antivirus restrictions.

The country added 13,358 COVID-19 infections, including 59 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 18,188,200, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

The daily caseload had stayed below 10,000 from Sunday through Tuesday on fewer tests over the weekend and the Memorial Day holiday that fell on Monday, Yonhap news agency reported.

But Wednesday’s figure is still about 20 per cent fewer than that logged a week earlier amid the continued downward trend in recent months as the highly transmissible omicron variant has waned.

The country added six COVID-19 deaths, the lowest number in about eight months. The death toll reached 24,305, and the fatality rate stood at 0.13 per cent.

The number of critically ill patients came to 114, down from 117 the previous day.

As of Wednesday, 44.6 million, or 86.9 per cent of the population, had completed the full two-dose vaccinations, and 33.32 million, representing 64.9 per cent, had received their first booster shots.

More than 4.19 million people, or 8.2 per cent of the population, had gotten their second booster shots, the KDCA said.

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