South Korea surpasses one million total COVID cases with daily record | Top news
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea surpassed one million cumulative COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic on Sunday, as health officials reported a daily record 38,691 new infections sparked by an outbreak of COVID-19. variant of Omicron.
South Korea saw its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on January 20, 2020, and quickly became the first country outside of China to battle a major outbreak.
An aggressive track, trace, mask and quarantine strategy helped South Korea mitigate this initial surge and keep the overall number of cases and deaths low without widespread lockdowns, but the spread of the Omicron variant drives the number of cases to new heights.
Deaths remained low in the highly vaccinated country, however, with 15 new deaths reported as of midnight Saturday, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
Daily cases are nearly five times higher than two weeks ago when the Omicron variant began to dominate, but serious infections have remained at manageable levels so far, authorities said.
On Friday, officials announced they would extend social distancing measures for at least another two weeks, including a 9 p.m. curfew for businesses and a six-person limit on private gatherings.
Overall, South Korea has reported 1,009,688 cases of COVID-19, with 6,873 deaths.
Nearly 86% of the country’s 52 million people are fully vaccinated, and more than 54.5% have received boosters.
(Reporting by Josh Smith; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Edmund Klamann)
Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.