S. Korea reports 68,551 new COVID-19 cases

South Korea reported 68,551 new coronavirus cases Saturday as the highly contagious omicron subvariant BA.5 continued to spread.

The tally is 1.66 times the number of cases a week ago but similar to the 68,632 new infections reported the previous day.

Saturday’s cases, including 293 from overseas, raised the country’s total caseload to 19,146,180, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

The daily caseload more than doubled to 73,582 on Tuesday from 26,299 a day earlier and rose to 76,402 Wednesday and 71,170 Thursday.

The omicron subvariant BA.5 has spread fast since end-June with the start of the summer holiday season. The daily count hit over 10,000 on June 29 for the first time in about three weeks before jumping to over 20,000 on July 9 and then above 40,000 on July 13.

The KDCA reported 30 deaths from the virus Saturday, putting the death toll at 24,855. The fatality rate stood at 0.13 percent.

The number of critically ill patients was 140.

As of 9 p.m. Saturday, the country had reported 63,282 additional cases, down 2,690 from the same time Friday. For a 9 p.m. Saturday tally, it was the highest since April 16.

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

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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