Under the attack of the highly infectious variant Omicron, the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in South Korea has been very serious. The latest data shows that on the 18th, the number of new diagnoses in South Korea exceeded 400,000. Despite this, the South Korean government has further relaxed epidemic prevention regulations, allowing people to return to normal daily life.
According to the latest statistics from the Korea Disease Control Agency (KDCA), South Korea reported 407,017 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the 18th, a sharp drop from the record high of 621,328 cases set on the 17th, of which 39 were overseas, Yonhap News Agency reported. The new cases brought the total number of confirmed cases to 8,657,609.
The number of critically ill patients, considered an indicator of the outbreak, fell by 110 to 1,049 from 1,159 on the 17th.
In recent weeks, the epidemic in South Korea has shown an exponential upward trend. In late January, the number of newly diagnosed cases in a single day reached 5 digits for the first time, and it climbed to 6 digits in mid-February.
Although the epidemic is at its peak, the South Korean government announced on the 18th that it will relax the limit on the number of private gatherings from next week, from the current limit of 6 to 8, but maintain a curfew in the catering industry at 11 pm every night.
South Korea’s Minister of Health and Welfare Kwon Deok-cheol said that considering the burden on the medical system and the difficulty in predicting when the peak of the epidemic will arrive, the authorities decided to relax social distancing measures cautiously.
The report pointed out that the South Korean government maintains the tone of loosening epidemic prevention regulations because small businesses and individual businesses have been severely hit by the epidemic.
According to data from KDCA, as of the 18th, 86.6% of the South Korean population had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 62.9% had received the third booster dose.