Opposition head pleads for support in ‘fight against Yoon dictatorship’
Koreans prefer cash in Chuseok gifting for parents
Apple to launch iPhone15 series in S. Korea on Oct. 13
S. Korea, US conduct underwater search operation for downed jet, Korean War remains
[Well-curated] A weekend for fall-time festivities
BTS' Suga begins military service
[Jean Guerrero] What first-generation students need
Surveillance cameras to be a must in hospital operating rooms
Ministry uncovers 1,802 Youth Protection Act violations
[Editorial] Kepco’s woes
New COVID-19 cases below 400,000 for 4th day amid omicron waveBy Yonhap
Published : March 27, 2022 - 10:08
The country added 318,130 new coronavirus infections, including 43 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 11,162,232, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
Sunday's tally is down from 335,580 reported the previous day, with the daily caseload being on a constant slide since Wednesday when the figure came to 490,844.
The death toll from COVID-19 was 282, down 41 from Saturday. The fatality rate stood at 0.13 percent.
The number of critically ill patients came to 1,216, up from the previous day's 1,164, the KDCA said.
In line with the surge in total infections, the number of the patients in critical condition grew to above 1,000 earlier this month and has since been above the level.
Some 67.8 percent of the country's hospital beds reserved for serious COVID-19 patients were occupied as of Sunday, up 1.5 percentage points from the previous day, according to the health authorities.
As the country has experienced the worst virus wave due to the omicron variant, the government has shifted away from rigorous contact tracing and treatment, and focused on dealing with seriously ill patients and ways to prevent deaths.
Currently, around 1.96 million people are being treated at home, with 276,992 patients of the total being under the government's special monitoring. The KDCA has said it has the capacity to monitor around 368,000 at-home treatment patients.
The health authorities have said that the country experienced the virus peak last week when the daily count spiked to over 620,000, but concerns remain over an uptick due to the spread of the even more transmissible BA.2, the "stealth omicron" subvariant.
On Saturday, the authorities began administering MSD's oral pill, Lagevrio, for patients with underlying illnesses or symptoms that forbid them from taking Pfizer's Paxlovid or other treatment pills.
Despite the raging omicron, the government has relaxed some antivirus curbs in efforts to regain normalcy and support small businesses and self-employed people hit hard by the pandemic.
The current eight-person cap on private gatherings and the 11 p.m. business curfew are supposed to be in place until April 3.
Starting Sunday, the government lifted the restriction on purchasing COVID-19 self-test kits to five units at one place, which had been enforced since last month in the wake of a supply crunch.
As of Sunday, 32.63 million people out of the total population, or 63.6 percent, had received booster shots. The number of fully vaccinated people came to 44.47 million, representing 86.7 percent, the KDCA said. (Yonhap)
U.S. finalizes national security 'guardrails' for CHIPS funding
Opposition party leader ends 24-day hunger strike for treatment
PM arrives in China for Asian Games, meeting with Xi