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S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases below 100,000 for 2nd day; critical cases at 4-month high

Aug. 16, 2022 - 10:00 By Yonhap
People wait in line to get COVID-19 tests at a local testing station in Songpa-gu, Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)

South Korea's new COVID-19 cases fell below 100,000 for the second consecutive day Tuesday, but the number of seriously ill patients hit about a four-month high amid the continued spread of a highly contagious omicron subvariant.

The country added 84,128 new COVID-19 infections, including 463 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 21,502,164, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

New daily infections fell below the 100,000 level on Monday for the first time in a week to come to 62,078. The decrease is mainly attributable to fewer tests over the extended weekend that included the Aug. 15 Liberation Day.

But the number of critically ill patients came to 563, up from the previous day's 521. It is the highest figure since April 26, when the country reported 613 serious cases.

The country also reported 37 more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total to 25,710, the KDCA said. The fatality rate stood at 0.12 percent.

COVID-19 deaths and critical cases have been rising markedly in recent weeks as the country has experienced a new virus wave amid the fast spread of the omicron subvariant BA.5. and the government's lifting of virus curbs. (Yonhap)