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S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases below 10,000 for second day

March 17, 2023 - 10:05 By Yonhap
A penalty notice for noncompliance with the mask-wearing policy on public transportation is glued to a glass door at Gwanghwamun Station in central Seoul on Wednesday. South Korea will remove the mask requirement for public transportation on March 20. (Yonhap)

South Korea's new COVID-19 cases stayed below 10,000 for the second consecutive day Friday, as the virus curve keeps steady with no dramatic upturn in daily numbers.

The country reported 9,065 new COVID-19 infections, including 11 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 30,681,228, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.

The latest count is down from the previous day's 9,934 and a drop by more than 1,200 from 10,335 a week ago.

The KDCA reported seven deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 34,155. The number of critically ill patients stood at 140, down by six from the previous day.

The government plans to lift the mask-wearing mandate on public transportation starting Monday, less than two months after it removed the mask requirement for most indoor places except for public transportation, hospitals and a few other high-risk areas.

The mask mandate will remain in place for medical facilities, pharmacies and other infection-prone places. Pharmacies at open public spaces, such as discount stores or train stations, will be exempt from the requirement. (Yonhap)