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

SEOUL– South Korea’s new COVID-19 cases stayed above 80,000 for the second straight day Wednesday amid lingering concerns over a wintertime surge.

The country confirmed 87,517 new coronavirus infections, including 56 from overseas, bringing the total to 28,859,713, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Wednesday’s tally is slightly lower than the 87,596 reported the previous day. The country confirmed 88,160 cases last Wednesday and 84,548 on Dec. 14.

The KDCA reported 69 COVID-19 deaths, bringing the death toll to 31,951. The number of critically ill patients stood at 587, down five from the previous day.

On Wednesday, the government asked the health authorities to check on medical supplies related to COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, as concerns are mounting over a surge in COVID-19 cases in China.

Infection cases from China have risen significantly over the last month, the health authorities said, taking up 14.2 percent of the total imported cases for the first 27 days of the month, a sharp rise from 1.1 percent during the same period last month.

The government has stepped up its screening process for visitors from China and said it will closely monitor imported cases for the emergence of any new coronavirus variants.

Citing the possibility of a spike in cases during the cold winter months, the government asked senior citizens to get additional booster shots.

The South Korean government plans to remove the indoor mask mandate, the last remaining pandemic restriction, as early as late January, as part of efforts to move on from the pandemic.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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