S. Korea’s new COVID-19 cases drop below 20,000

SEOUL– South Korea’s new coronavirus cases fell below 20,000 on Monday due to fewer tests over the weekend amid growing concerns that daily infections could spike to as high as 200,000 during the winter.

The country reported 18,671 new COVID-19 infections, including 60 from overseas, bringing the total to 25,856,910, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

The figure fell from the previous day’s 36,675 cases, but it was up from 14,242 cases two weeks ago and from 8,974 four weeks ago.

The daily caseload stayed above 40,000 last week amid the recent resurgence trend.

The country added 18 deaths from COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the death toll to 29,390. The number of critically ill patients stood at 365, up from 346 a day earlier, the KDCA said.

The government has warned that the possible arrival of new COVID-19 variants would push up the daily count to 200,000 cases this winter, as well as a possible outbreak of a “twindemic” of COVID-19 and seasonal influenza.

The government plans to announce a set of antivirus steps this week, including ways to expand vaccine shots and oral medication in order to better protect vulnerable groups.

The government recently expanded booster shots against omicron variants to all adults aged over 18.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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