SEOUL – South Korea reported a daily record of 5,352 new COVID-19 infections and 70 deaths, while a nationwide total of nine cases of the Omicron variant were confirmed, the Korea Control Agency said on Saturday. and disease prevention (KDCA).
The government announced on Friday that people visiting restaurants, cinemas and other public spaces will be required to show vaccine passes. It is also reducing the limit on private gatherings to six people in the greater Seoul area, from 10 currently, and to eight from 12 for those residing outside the capital, starting next Monday.
The hospitalization rate was rising rapidly due to severe cases of COVID-19, with the number of serious and critical patients at 752 on Friday, KDCA said.
South Korea has also confirmed three more cases of Omicron, bringing the total to nine after a fully vaccinated couple tested positive for the variant after traveling from Nigeria last week.
To push back the new variant, authorities on Friday announced a mandatory 10-day quarantine requirement for all inbound travelers for two weeks, ending exemptions granted earlier to fully vaccinated people.
South Korea is grappling with the worst wave of infections since July, when the daily number of cases was below 2,000 until the government switched to “living with COVID-19”. Cases hit 5,000 for the first time this week, straining the healthcare system.
The country, which has fully vaccinated 91.7% of its adult population, has so far reported a total of 467,907 COVID-19 infections, with 3,809 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
(Reporting by Sangmi Cha; editing by Shri Navaratnam)