S. Korea's daily COVID-19 cases surpass 14,000 amid rapid omicron spread
SEOUL. KAZINFORM South Korea's daily COVID-19 cases hit over 14,000 on Thursday, breaking the record for a third consecutive day as the highly contagious omicron variant spreads across the country at an unprecedented speed.
The country reported 14,518 COVID-19 infections, including 14,301 local infections, bringing the total to 777,497, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said, Yonhap reports.
South Korea posted the first five-digit daily tally of 13,012 on Wednesday, following the previous record high of 8,570 on Tuesday. The per day counts have nearly quadrupled since early last week, when the figure had hovered around 3,800.
The death toll from COVID-19 came to 6,654, up 34 from Wednesday. The fatality rate stood at 0.86 percent.
The number of critically ill COVID-19 patients was 350, down 35 from the previous day.
Health authorities introduced a readjusted virus response system this week to better tackle the highly transmissible variant.
Under the regime, rapid antigen self-tests replace polymerase chain reaction tests at testing sites, except for those aged over 60 or high-risk groups. Local hospitals and clinics will administer diagnostic tests and treat patients starting Feb. 3.
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