New virus cases fall below 100,000 as omicron wave ebbs
Published : Apr 21, 2022 - 09:54
Updated : Apr 21, 2022 - 10:00
Tourists walk in the downtown shopping district of Myeongdong, Seoul, on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

South Korea reported fewer than 100,000 coronavirus cases Thursday as the omicron curve has turned downward since mid-March.

The country added 90,867 new COVID-19 infections, including 31 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 16,674,045, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

The new tally is down 57,558 cases, or 38.7 percent, from a week ago and marks the lowest number for Thursday since Feb. 17, in an apparent sign of a downward trend in cases of the highly transmissible omicron variant.

The omicron-driven infections have been on the steady decline after peaking at 621,178 cases on March 17.

The death toll from COVID-19 came to 21,667, up 147 from the previous day. The fatality rate was 0.13 percent. The number of critically ill patients came to 846, up 38 from a day ago.

Of the locally transmitted infections, Seoul reported 15,192 cases and its surrounding Gyeonggi Province added 22,620 cases. Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, identified 4,667 cases.

As of midnight Wednesday, 44.53 million, or 86.8 percent of the 52 million population, had been fully vaccinated, and 33 million, or 64.4 percent, had received booster shots, the KDCA said.

The country started this week to administer second COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to people over 60, four months after their first booster dose.