South Korea reports a daily record of over 5,000 new Covid-19 infections

South Korea reports a daily record of over 5,000 new Covid-19 infections

December 2, 2021: -South Korea reported a new daily record of 5,123 new coronavirus cases, as the country battles to contain a sharp increase in patients with severe symptoms and stave off the omicron, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said on Wednesday.

On Monday, the government shelved is planning to further relax Covid-19 curbs due to the strain on its healthcare system from rising hospitalizations and deaths and the threat posed by the new variant.

Hospitals treat a record number of 723 patients with severe Covid-19 that require ICU beds as the authorities scrambled to secure more. The extreme cases have seen a steep increase compared to just under 400 in early November.

More than 84% of the severely ill Covid-19 patients were 60 and above. Experts had pointed to waning antibody levels from the vaccines and urged the elderly to get a booster dose.

Authorities will mobilize the administrative structure to secure hospital beds, almost an additional 1,300 by mid-December, Interior and Safety Minister Jeon Hae-Cheol told a Covid-19 response meeting.

He called for tighter virus prevention measures to head off omicron after suspected cases entered the country from Nigeria.

South Korea did not report any confirmed omicron cases so far.

The new cases of Tuesday bring the coronavirus infections in the country to 452,350 cases, with 3,658 deaths. Despite the rising hospitalization rate, the mortality rate remains relatively low at 0.81%, KDCA data showed.

South Korea has fully vaccinated almost 80% of its 52 million people, while the boosters for adults aged 18 to 49 only begin this Saturday.

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