South Korea’s daily infections fall to 6-week low; concerns linger amid eased restrictions

South Korea’s daily infections fall to 6-week low; concerns linger amid eased restrictions

South Korea’s new coronavirus cases dropped to the lowest tally in six weeks Monday, but there are lingering concerns of another spike over the eased virus curbs.

The country reported 127,190 new COVID-19 infections, including 15 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 14,001,406, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

The daily tally marked the lowest number since the 99,562 cases on Feb. 22.

The death toll from COVID-19 came to 17,453, up 218 from Sunday, the KDCA said.

The number of critically ill patients stood at 1,108, down 20 from the previous day.

Despite the fallen figures, concerns linger that daily infections could bounce back again, as the government eased the social distancing regulations Monday for two weeks in a move to reduce the plight of small merchants and business owners.

The private gathering limit has been eased to 10 people from eight and the business hour curfew on restaurants and cafes has been extended by one hour to midnight.

The number of fully vaccinated people stood at 44.5 million, or 86.7 percent of the 52 million population, and 63.9 percent have received booster shots, according to the KDCA data.

Health authorities are considering lifting the social distancing rules and allowing people to go mask-free outside, if the virus stays in check for the next two weeks.

A KDCA official has recently said the effect of the current virus curbs might be minimal, since the omicron variant is two or three times more contagious than the preceding delta variant. (Yonhap)

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