On Wednesday, health authorities reported that South Korea has experienced a seven-week streak of coronavirus cases increasing. The nation reported 349,279 new infections for the week of Aug. 6-12, a 0.8 percent jump from the previous week. This translates to an approximate 50,000 people getting infected daily.
The weekly case count has been steadily rising since the fourth week of June, yet the on-week increase has decreased from 35.8 percent to 23.7 percent to 0.8 percent. The number of COVID-19 deaths surged 40.2 percent on-week to 136, and the number of critically ill patients jumped 21.5 percent to 215.
Due to the recent surge in daily coronavirus cases, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) has postponed its plan to lift all antivirus curbs and fully return to pre-pandemic normalcy. The KDCA had intended to lower the disease level of COVID-19 by two notches and lift all mask mandates at hospitals earlier this month. A KDCA official stated in a briefing Monday, “We will observe the epidemic situation for another week and announce our plans to ease our COVID-19 disease control. We are seeking advice from the medical circle and other experts for the current disease control situation and the planned transition to a normal state for the medical system.”
People wait in line to take tests at a makeshift COVID-19 testing center in Seoul on Aug. 14, 2023, amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases. (Yonhap)