New virus cases under 10,000 for 2nd day

South Korea's new COVID-19 cases remained below 10,000 for the second consecutive day on Saturday while the country is mulling eased antivirus restrictions to restore pre-pandemic normalcy.

The country added 8,422 new infections, including 64 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 18,200,346, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Saturday's figure was down from 9,315 the previous day.

The country added 10 COVID-19 deaths, bringing the death toll to 24,351. The fatality rate stood at 0.13 percent.

The number of critically ill patients came to 101.

As of Saturday, 44.6 million, or 86.9 percent of the population, had completed the full two-dose vaccinations, and 33.33 million had received their first booster shots.

A total of 4.25 million people, or 8.3 percent of the population, had gotten their second booster shots, the KDCA said.

As of 9 p.m., local governments had reported 7,097 additional COVID-19 cases, down 1,001 from the same time Friday.

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

The Yoon Suk-yeol administration has vowed to devise "science-based" quarantine measures based on data and analysis to better respond to the prolonged virus situation.

The KDCA has been conducting expert reviews on the impact of lifting the mandatory seven-day self-isolation period for COVID-19 patients and is expected to make a decision next week.

The agency also plans to assess the pandemic trend and other factors to decide whether to expand the inoculation of a second COVID-19 booster shot, currently reserved for the elderly population and those in senior care hospitals.

Source: Yonhap News Agency