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S. Korea's COVID-19 cases down to lowest Monday tally in 12 weeks

Jan. 16, 2023 - 10:48 By Yonhap
A COVID-19 testing center in central Seoul is nearly empty on last Thursday (Yonhap)

South Korea's new COVID-19 cases fell to the lowest Monday tally in 12 weeks, as the government continues to make efforts to contain the inflow from China.

The country reported 14,144 new COVID-19 infections, including 64 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 29,821,035, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.

Daily case counts on Mondays tend to be lower than other days of the week due to fewer tests over the weekend.

The tally is down by around 5,000 from a week earlier and marked the lowest for any Monday since Oct. 16, when the country reported 11,040 cases.

Of the imported cases, 41 cases, or 64 percent, were from China, the KDCA said.

South Korea added 35 deaths, bringing the death toll to 32,984. The number of critically ill patients stood at 510, up from the previous day's 499.

The South Korean government has been closely watching overseas visitors amid the recent surge in infections in China following Beijing's lifting of its zero-COVID-19 policy in December.

Earlier this month, South Korea began requiring arrivals from China to present a negative polymerase chain reaction or antigen test for the coronavirus before boarding and undergo a post-entry polymerase chain reaction test in a move to slow the overseas inflow of the virus.

Travelers from Hong Kong and Macao also have to show a negative pre-entry virus test. (Yonhap)