Employees of the Gyeonggi Provincial Government line up to get tested for COVID-19 as part of a preemptive testing campaign to contain the spread of the novel virus. (Photo: Yonhap News)
The number of new coronavirus cases in South Korea hovered around 500 for a second day in a row Wednesday, signaling that the winter wave may be slowing down on the back of tougher virus curbs.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency confirmed 562 new cases from the last 24 hours, including 536 local infections and 26 imported from abroad, raising the total caseload to 70,212.
The country surpassed the 70,000 mark 12 months after reporting its first case.
The virus took the lives of 20 more people, pushing the death toll to 1,185.
Despite the apparent downward trend, health authorities remain vigilant against clusters at facilities prone to outbreaks such as nursing homes and detention centers as well as new coronavirus variants from overseas.
According to the KDCA, hospitals were treating 374 seriously or critically ill COVID-19 patients.
The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries stood at 54,636, up 1,067 from the previous day.
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