• Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients In S. Korea Hit Fresh High
A doctor treats a patient at an intensive care unit at a hospital in Pyeongtaek. (Photo: Yonhap)

The daily number of new coronavirus cases in South Korea stayed below 4,000 for the third straight day Tuesday.

But the number of critically ill patients hit a new record.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said it confirmed 3,032 new infections, most of them local transmissions, the previous day for a total caseload of 447,230.

Patients in critical condition reached an all-time high of 661 as hospital beds in intensive care units begin to run out.

Eighty four percent of them are said to be older adults aged 60 and up.

The KDCA also reported 44 additional COVID-19 related fatalities, including a child, raising the death toll to 3,624.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum has urged people to cancel private social gatherings or postpone them until next year.

In a Cabinet meeting this morning, he ordered government ministries and agencies to pour all resources into pandemic response, saying the country is currently faced with an emergency situation.

The prime minister again stressed the importance of vaccine booster shots as well as encouraged those who have yet to receive their first shots to get them as soon as possible.

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