South Korea's new coronavirus cases fell under 30,000 Saturday as the country plans to lift a mask mandate for most indoor places next week.
The country reported 23,612 new cases, including 48 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 30,130,730, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The daily caseload had been above 30,000 for the second straight day Friday due to increased tests after the Lunar New Year holiday that ended Tuesday.
Saturday's daily infections were down by more than 4,000 from a week earlier.
The country added 29 COVID-19 deaths, bringing the death toll to 33,361. The number of critically ill patients came to 410, down 71 from the previous day, the KDCA said.
Among the 23,564 local infections, 4,062 were from Seoul, 5,838 from the surrounding Gyeonggi Province and 1,127 from the western port city of Incheon, according to KDCA data.
The government will drop its mask mandate for most indoor public spaces, including schools, on Monday, but people will still be required to wear masks on public transportation and in medical facilities.