South Korea's daily coronavirus cases jumped Tuesday, apparently due to increased virus tests, but the caseload was about half the tally from a week ago as the spread of omicron slows down.
The country added 118,504 new COVID-19 infections, including 20 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 16,471,940, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
The new tally is similar to the numbers seen in the third week of February when the omicron wave started to accelerate nationwide.
The virus peaked at 621,178 cases on March 17, and it has since been retreating. The country reported 93,001 cases on Sunday and 47,743 on Monday. Last Tuesday's tally was 210,732.
The death toll from COVID-19 came to 21,354, up 130 from the previous day. The fatality rate was 0.13 percent. The number of critically ill patients came to 834, down 16 from a day ago.
Of the locally transmitted infections, Seoul reported 21,819 cases and its surrounding Gyeonggi Province added 29,671 cases. Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, identified 6,668 cases.
As of midnight Monday, 44.53 million, or 86.8 percent of the 52 million population, had been fully vaccinated, and 33 million, or 64.3 percent, had received booster shots, the KDCA said.
Reservations opened Monday for a second COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for people over 60, four months after their first booster dose. (Yonhap)