S. Korea’s new COVID-19 cases drop below 3,500 as omicron slows

SEOUL-- South Korea's new coronavirus cases fell below 3,500 on Monday as the COVID-19 pandemic is in retreat and fewer tests were conducted over the weekend.

The country added 3,429 new COVID-19 infections, including 114 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 18,329,448, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Monday's tally is down 109 cases from a week ago and 2,704 from four weeks ago. Daily COVID-19 cases have declined at a steady pace to stay below 10,000 since June 10, after hitting more than 620,000 in mid-March.

The KDCA reported three more deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 24,525. The fatality rate stood at 0.13 percent.

The number of critically ill patients came to 68, up by 14 from a day ago.

As of 9 p.m., the country had reported 9,299 new infections, up by 3,301 from the same time the previous day. Daily infection cases are counted until midnight and announced the following morning.

The average caseload over the past week stood at 6,965.1.

Of the 3,315 locally transmitted cases, Seoul accounted for 594 cases, with the surrounding Gyeonggi Province reporting 1,008 cases. There were 170 infections in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul. The three areas accounted for 53.5 percent of the total infection cases.

In April, the government removed most social distancing restrictions, except the indoor mask requirement, as new infections continued to fall.

Still, the government extended the self-isolation mandate for COVID-19 patients until July 17 over concerns that eased rules could prompt another virus resurgence.

Source: Yonhap News Agency