Crowds gather at Children’s Grand Park in Seoul, on Children’s Day, Thursday. (Yonhap)
South Korea’s daily COVID-19 cases for Saturday rebounded week-on-week for the first time in around six weeks, government data showed Sunday.
According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, the country added 40,064 new COVID-19 infections during the 24 hours of Saturday. The total caseload came to 17,544,398.
The daily figure on Saturday was up from 37,771 cases on Saturday a week ago. It was the first time in 46 days that the daily COVID-19 infections increased week-on-week on March 22.
South Korea’s daily COVID-19 cases have been on a downward trend, and the country in mid-April lifted almost all social distancing measures in a major step that signaled a return to pre-pandemic normalcy.
Last week, the government also tossed the country’s outdoor mask mandate after it introduced the antivirus measure around 18 months ago.
Amid the weakening pandemic, the country’s health authorities last week released a report that expected that the daily tally to drop to near 30,000 this week. The health authorities’ report added that the figure could go down to some 22,000 in the following week and about 12,000 in early June.
However, the daily figure could also go up again this week, as more people venture outdoors where they are allowed to go about mask-free.
In particular, Monday and Tuesday could see a spike in cases after an extended holiday that included Children’s Day on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the country reported 83 deaths from COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 23,360, the government said Sunday. The fatality rate stood at 0.13 percent. The number of critically ill patients came to 423, up four from 419 a day prior.
By Shim Woo-hyun (email@example.com