Seoul: South Korea’s new coronavirus cases remained below 4,000 for a second day on Friday, but serious cases rose to a record high.
The country reported 3,901 new Covid-19 cases, including 3,882 local infections, Yonhap news agency reported, citing the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). Due to which the total figure increased to 432,901.
The critically ill patients crossed the previous 617 mark on Thursday. The country added 39 more deaths from Covid-19, taking the death toll to 3,440.
Concerns about a rise in infections have been rising since the government began easing virus restrictions to a gradual return to pre-pandemic life.
South Korea plans to move to Phase II in mid-December, but health officials have warned the country will not be able to do so if current trends continue.
Rising infections and a lack of hospital beds to treat severe cases are raising concerns, especially in the Seoul region, which houses nearly half of the country’s 52 million population.
Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said that exactly four weeks after we started returning to normalcy in phases, we are facing the biggest challenge in our fight against COVID-19.
He said the virus is spreading rapidly among senior citizens and with a sharp increase in severe cases and deaths, hospital beds in intensive care units are declining.
The minister said the government would announce stringent antivirus measures on Monday to contain the spread of the virus.
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