South Korea surpassed the milestone of 30,000 COVID-19 deaths Sunday as the country is bracing for another virus wave in winter.
The country reported 41 COVID-19 deaths earlier in the day, raising the death toll to 30,031, almost three years after South Korea reported its first confirmed COVID-19 case in January 2020, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.
The grim milestone came around seven months after the country's accumulated COVID-19 deaths rose above 20,000. In March this year, the figure surpassed 10,000.
The country reported 46,011 new COVID-19 infections Sunday, including 57 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 26,558,765, the KDCA said.
Sunday's count was slightly down from the previous day's 50,589 and was down by around 2,000 from a week ago.
But the number of critically ill patients grew to the highest level in about two months of 451, up 32 from the previous day.
Earlier this month, the KDCA said a new wave of infections appeared to have begun in earnest, and the daily infections could surge to around 200,000 as early as December.
In response, the government has been working to better protect vulnerable groups by enhancing monitoring and expanding vaccination and medication programs, rather than reimposing antivirus steps. (Yonhap)