People line up for COVID-19 tests at a coronavirus testing station in Seoul, Friday. (Yonhap)
South Korea‘s daily coronavirus cases continued to drop, falling below 4,000 for the first time in three days for Thursday.
According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency‘s data, the country added 3,717 new COVID-19 cases as of midnight Thursday.
South Korea has recently seen a modest downward trend in daily COVID-19 cases lately. The numbers of COVID-19 cases for Tuesday and Wednesday were 4,443 and 4,125, respectively.
The number of critically ill patients also stayed below 1,000 for four consecutive days. The number of critically ill patients had decreased to 839 as of midnight Thursday, down 43 from that of the previous day.
South Korea’s health authority said the decrease in the number of critically ill patients is largely thanks to more people aged 60 or older receiving their booster shots.
To date, 42.84 million people, or 83.5 percent of the country’s 52 million population, have received their second shots, while 20.05 million, or 39.1 percent, have received their third shots, according to KDCA data.
During Thursday, South Korea reported 45 COVID-19 deaths, also lower than the previous day‘s 49 deaths. The fatality rate related to the coronavirus has reached 0.9 percent.
South Korea has seen decreases in COVID-19 figures after the government reintroduced stricter antivirus measures last month, including dining curfews and a four-person cap on private gatherings.
The related figures could drop further as the government earlier decided to operate the social distancing rules for two more weeks through Jan. 16.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said Friday that antiviral COVID-19 pills will arrive in South Korea next week. Kim hinted that the pills will be used to fight the spread of the potentially more transmissible omicron variant.
By Shim Woo-hyun (email@example.com