Seoul, Aug 21 (IANS) South Korea’s new Covid cases stayed above 110,000 on Sunday, but the daily caseload fell from a week ago in a possible sign that the omicron-fueled summer wave could be slowing down.
The country added 110,944 new COVID-19 infections, including 396 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 22,240,331, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
The tally fell by around 8,600 cases from a week ago, marking the first decline for a Sunday since late June when the wave turned upward again, fueled by the highly transmissible omicron subvariant BA.5 and increased summer travelers, Yonhap news agency reported quoting KDCA.
For the seven days ending on Sunday, the average daily caseload was 126,378, 1.05 times more cases reported a week earlier but slower than the pace seen in July when infections doubled each week.
The country reported 64 new Covid deaths, bringing the total death toll to 26,044, the KDCA said. Of the deaths reported Sunday, 43 people, or 67.2 percent, were aged 80 or older. The fatality rate stood at 0.12 percent.
The number of critically ill patients came to 531, up 20 from a day ago. More than 86 percent of the patients were aged 60 or older.
Health authorities forecast the recent wave could peak at around 200,000 cases this month, with serious cases of up to 920 and deaths up to 140.
They said they would focus on preventing serious cases and deaths by putting more resources into treating older people with compromised immune systems.
Of the locally transmitted cases, Seoul reported 16,720 new cases, and Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital added 25,578 new infections. Incheon, a port city just west of Seoul, identified 5,368 new cases. The capital area took up 43.1 per cent of the daily caseload.
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