People line up in front of a COVID-19 testing booth in southern Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)
Korea’s recent wave of COVID-19 cases appears to be waning, the local health authorities said Friday.
On Friday, Korea saw 101,140 new case of COVID-19 and 575 patients were reported to be in serious condition. The daily death toll stood at 81.
“This is the lowest number of daily confirmed cases for a Friday in four weeks,” Kim Seong-ho, an official from the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters said at a briefing held Friday.
“We, however, cannot be at ease as the number of patients who are in serious condition has stood in the 500s for three consecutive days,” Kim said.
Though the number of daily confirmed cases has been dropping, the government will brace for a rise of patients in serious condition for the next few weeks, tightening its management of hospital beds in intensive care units.
The number of patients in serious condition reached its peak Friday, marking the largest number since April 26.
The average daily number of patients in serious condition stood at 542 between Saturday and Friday. Of the patients, 87.3 percent are aged 60 or above.
Currently, 40 percent of hospital beds in intensive care units are full, while 50 percent of general hospital beds are occupied.
Some 650,542 people are under at-home care as of Friday.
The Korean government said it will work on developing a new method of PCR testing for the BA.2.75 variant, hoping to introduce the new system by next month.
By Im Eun-byel (firstname.lastname@example.org)