Seoul (south Korea), August 5: South Korea's new COVID-19 cases exceeded 100,000 for the fourth straight day Friday amid a wave of infections driven by a highly infectious omicron variant.
The country added 112,901 new COVID-19 infections, including 497 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 20,273,011, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
Friday's figure is slightly up from 107,894 Thursday. On Wednesday, the daily caseload stood at 119,922, which was the highest since the 125,821 cases reported April 15.
The number of deaths caused by COVID-19 was 47, up 13 from a day earlier, raising the death toll to 25,191. The fatality rate was 0.12 percent, the KDCA said. The number of seriously ill patients rose 10 to 320 on Friday.
South Korea, with a population of 51.6 million, reached the grim milestone of 20 million coronavirus infections Wednesday, 2 1/2 years after its first COVID-19 case was reported Jan. 20, 2020.
To stem the spread of the omicron variant BA.5, health authorities have asked older adults to get their second boosters. But only about 45 percent of people aged over 60 and subject to a fourth vaccine shot have received it.
Of the 112,404 locally transmitted cases, 49.8 percent of them came from Seoul and its neighboring metropolitan areas and 50.2 percent came from the non-capital areas, the KDCA said.
The country also confirmed two more COVID-19 cases of BA.2.75, a new fast-spreading omicron subvariant, bringing the total such cases to 16. The two new cases were from Mexico, it said.
Of the total 16 cases of BA.2.75, 13 cases were imported from overseas while three were locally infected cases.