August 11, 2022
SEOUL – South Korea’s daily COVID-19 infections have surpassed 150,000 and hit a four-month high since April, the government announced on Wednesday. The number of critically ill patients also surpassed 400, amid an ongoing resurgence fueled by the rapid spread of a highly contagious Omicron strain.
“The rate at which COVID-19 is spreading is accelerating again,” Lee Ki-il, a deputy health minister, said during a COVID-19 response meeting on Wednesday.
The country added 151,792 new COVID-19 cases in Tuesday’s 24 hours, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Of the new cases, 615 were from overseas.
The number was the highest since April 12, when the government added 195,387 cases. It was also higher than the previous day’s 149,897 and 119,922 a week earlier.
The number of seriously ill patients and deaths from COVID-19 also continued to rise. The number of seriously ill patients rose to 402 on Tuesday, up from 364 the day before. The country also reported 50 new deaths from the virus, the highest in about 80 days. The death toll was 25,382 and the mortality rate was 0.12 percent.
Lee said the reproduction rate was 1.14 last week, falling for the third straight week, but there are plenty of other risks that may fuel the ongoing rebound. “The KDCA currently expects the rebound to peak in August at around 200,000,” Lee added.
Health officials expected the resurgence to peak on June 18 at about 280,000. However, they lowered their estimate to 200,000 in the same month and to 150,000 earlier this month.
However, the KDCA changed its forecast again on Wednesday as the number of daily cases began to rise in line with the summer holiday season here.
Lee said the government will step up surveillance of facilities vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. There have been a total of 2,445 COVID-19 infections in senior hospitals and related facilities, according to Lee.
Lee added the government will increase support for people experiencing mental health issues as a result of the ongoing pandemic. “Indicators show that the mental health of the public has improved following the lifting of social distancing rules, but the proportions of people who have shown a risk of developing depression and suicidal thoughts are five-fold and three-fold, respectively up,” Lee said.