120,000 new Covid-19 infections reported, critical cases above 500
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Korea’s daily Covid-19 infections totaled nearly 120,000 Sunday while the number of patients in critical condition rose to over 500.
Korea reported 119,603 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, all but 460 locally transmitted, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
Sunday’s figure was 1.13 times the week-earlier figure and 1.63 times the total from two weeks earlier.
The average number of new daily cases in the week from Aug. 8 to Sunday was 123,856.
The number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients in critical condition rose by 43 from the previous day, totaling 512 as of Saturday midnight. The figure was the highest in 107 days, since April 29’s 526 critical cases.
Of them, 450 people, or 87.9 percent, are 60 or older.
A total of 42.5 percent of intensive care beds were occupied nationwide as of 5 p.m. Saturday.
Fifty-seven people died of the virus, bringing the death toll to 25,623.
“Currently, the resurgence of the virus wave is heading to its peak,” KDCA Commissioner Peck Kyong-ran said in a press briefing on Aug. 11.
“It is a time when the importance of complying with personal quarantine rules and protecting high-risk groups is stressed following the increase of travels during the summer vacation season and the Liberation Day holidays,” Peck added.
The reopening of schools at the end of August and the Chuseok holidays scheduled for early September also remain as unpredictable variables.
According to the latest mathematical modeling done by the National Institute for Mathematical Sciences, experts project as many as 300,000 daily cases at the end of August.
Another possible factor to trigger the spread of the virus is the rise of reinfections, as the immunity gained from prior infections during the Omicron wave in March is now waning.
A KDCA data showed that 5.43 percent of Covid-19 cases registered in the fourth week of July were found to be reinfections, while that figure was 6.59 percent for the third week of July.
By virus variants, 36.5 percent of the reinfections were BA.2 infections following BA.1 infections, followed by 23 percent Delta-to-BA.2 infections and 11.2 percent Delta-to-BA.1 infections.
The data show that the risk of reinfection with an Omicron subvariant following previous infection with Omicron is higher than infection with the older Delta variant.
Meanwhile, temporary shelters made for people made homeless by record rainfalls in Seoul are also grappling with Covid-19.
According to Seoul City on Sunday, a total of eight evacuated people tested positive as of 6 p.m. Saturday. Six of the infections are linked to the shelters.
The city government said it conducted Covid-19 tests on 288 people who came into contact with the confirmed patients and are waiting for the results.
The capital set up eight quarantine facilities, in the districts of Gangnam, Yeongdeungpo, Dongjak, and Songpa, while it is working to establish additional facilities in each district.
A total of 43 facilities, such as senior centers, gymnasiums, schools and community centers, in Seoul are providing shelter for 724 people (as of 9 a.m. Saturday) who had their houses damaged by the heaviest rainfall in 80 years that pounded Seoul and surrounding regions last week.
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