• S. Korea Reports Over 4,000 New COVID Cases As Omicron Spreads
People flock to a COVID-19 testing center in Seoul's Songap District as infections continue to spread.
(Photo: Yonhap)

South Korean health authorities have reported 4,325 new COVID-19 cases from the last 24 hours.

Monday's tally marks the first time in three days the daily cases have dropped below 5,000.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said all but 29 of the new infections were locally transmitted, with the greater Seoul area still the nation's biggest virus hotspot.

The number of critically ill patients stood at 727, while the death toll rose by 41 to 3,893.

The KDCA said the number of confirmed Omicron variant cases increased to 24, doubling from the previous day -- 10 were domestic cases and two involved international travelers.

Prime Minster Kim Boo-kyum told officials during a COVID-19 response meeting in Seoul that the threat of Omicron is becoming apparent.

He asked for people's cooperation and understanding regarding the government's decision to tighten social distancing rules that were eased last month.

Kim said the government will concentrate on boosting vaccinations, expanding at-home treatment and securing enough hospital beds to handle up to 10,000 patients a day to alleviate the virus situation.

On the vaccination front, more than 83 percent of people in the country have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, while over 80 percent have been fully vaccinated.

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