• COVID Deaths, Hospitalizations In S. Korea Hit Fresh Highs
(Photo: Yonhap)

South Korean health authorities reported nearly 5,000 new coronavirus infections Tuesday, with the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in critical care reaching a fresh high.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency announced 4,954 additional cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours, including over 3,600 from the greater Seoul area and 30 imported from abroad.

A dozen more Omicron cases were also identified -- nine local transmissions and three recent overseas arrivals -- bringing the total number of cases involving the new variant to 36.

Meanwhile, the death toll rose by 64 to 3,957, the second-highest daily figure since the pandemic began.

The number of patients with severe COVID-19 also hit a fresh record high of 774, up 47 from the previous day.

As the coronavirus surge continues, hospitals and health care workers are being stretched to the limit, stoking fears that some people may not get the medical attention they need.

The government has reimposed restrictions on indoor social gatherings, expanded enforcement of the vaccine pass system and urged people to cooperate with the national vaccination campaign to try and curb the spread.

According to the KDCA, over 83 percent of people in the country have received at least one dose of a vaccine and more than 80 percent have received two shots.

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