The Friday count of South Korea's new COVID-19 cases made its first on-week drop in six weeks, fueling hope that the virus's recent surge may peak earlier than expected.
The country reported 49,418 new COVID-19 infections, including 66 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 26,462,319, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.
The Friday tally dropped from 55,437 on Thursday and was the first on-week fall for a Friday since Oct. 7.
From Monday to Thursday, South Korea's new COVID-19 cases hit two-month highs each day, causing authorities to closely watch for the possibility of another virus wave in the wintertime.
The previous wave of the omicron subvariant peaked at over 180,000 cases on Aug. 17.
South Korea added 63 COVID-19 deaths Friday, raising the death toll to 29,925, the KDCA data showed. The number of deaths declined from 67 on Thursday, the highest daily count since Sept. 25.
The number of critically ill patients stood at 365, down from 380 the previous day. (Yonhap)