S. Korea’s COVID-19 cases over 80,000 for 2nd day amid virus surge worries

SEOUL– South Korea’s new COVID-19 cases stayed above 80,000 for the second straight day Wednesday amid lingering concerns of another surge as the government mulls easing the indoor mask mandate.

The country reported 84,571 new COVID-19 infections, including 73 from overseas, bringing the total to 27,925,572, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

On Tuesday, the daily caseload jumped to 86,852, the highest in three months since Sept. 14, when the daily figure reached 93,949, KDCA data showed.

Health authorities expected daily infections will be on a slow incremental trend for the time being but did not rule out the possibility of another virus wave this winter.

The government earlier said it will decide whether to lift the indoor mask mandate, the country’s last remaining COVID-19 restriction, by the end of this month, based on various factors, including caseloads, deaths and hospitalizations.

The KDCA said it will give a briefing on its indoor mask mandate readjustment plan on Dec. 23.

The country added 46 deaths, bringing the death toll to 31,174. The number of critically ill patients stood at 463, up three from the previous day.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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