• S. Korea's Daily COVID-19 Caseload Surpasses 90,000
People stand in long lines in freezing weather to get tested for COVID-19 in Seoul's Songpa District. [Photo: Newsis]

The Omicron wave in South Korea continues to grow, pushing daily COVID-19 caseloads to the highest levels seen over the past two years.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Wednesday reported 90,443 new infections, marking a sharp rise from the previous day when daily cases hit a record high of 57,164.

A total of 39 more lives were lost to the virus while the number of critically ill COVID patients rose by one to 313, a majority 83 percent of which are people aged 60 or older.

Meanwhile, hospital resources remained stable with only 27 percent of beds in COVID intensive care units across the country occupied.

The bed occupancy rate for moderately ill patients reached 41 percent.

Although Omicron seems less likely to cause severe illness or death, the sheer size of the outbreak has health authorities worrying that hospitalizations and fatalities could spike in the coming weeks.

Officials are hoping that vaccination programs will help keep the pressure off the medical system.

The KDCA said 58 percent of the country's population of over 51 million has received booster shots.

The government plans to start making fourth vaccine doses available to the elderly, people who are immunocompromised and other high-risk groups later this month.

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