People wait in a line to get tested for COVID-19 at a makeshift clinic in Seoul last Friday. (Yonhap)
South Korea’s daily COVID-19 cases stayed below 170,000 for the second straight day Sunday, but critical cases from the virus continued to rise at a fast pace amid the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant.
The country reported 163,566 new coronavirus infections, including 163,414 local cases, raising the total caseload to 2,994,841, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The tally slightly decreased from the 166,209 reported Saturday. Daily infections exceeded the 100,000 mark for the first time a week earlier and hit a record high of 171,442 on Wednesday.
The surge in virus cases raised the number of critically ill COVID-19 patients to 662, up from the previous day’s 643.
The country added 49 more COVID-19 deaths. The accumulated death toll came to 7,944, and the fatality rate was 0.27 percent, according to the KDCA.
The government said the current wave is expected to peak at some 250,000 daily cases in mid-March as the highly contagious omicron variant is raging across the nation. (Yonhap)