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Daily cases jump to over 6,000 for 1st time in nearly month amid omicron woes

This photo taken Wednesday shows a medical worker entering a container booth set up for coronavirus tests in front of Seoul Station in central Seoul. (Yonhap)
This photo taken Wednesday shows a medical worker entering a container booth set up for coronavirus tests in front of Seoul Station in central Seoul. (Yonhap)
South Korea's daily coronavirus cases jumped to over 6,000 for the first time in 27 days Thursday amid growing worries over the spread of the omicron virus variant ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.  

The country added 6,603 new COVID-19 infections, including 6,357 local infections, raising the total caseload to 712,503, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Health authorities are on high alert over a possible spike in infections as many people travel for family reunions during the Lunar New Year holiday that begins late this month.

The daily caseload has stayed below 6,000 since Dec. 24, when it stood at 6,233, through Wednesday. Thursday marks the second anniversary of the first case of coronavirus in South Korea.

The number of critically ill COVID-19 patients stood at 488 on Thursday. The country reported 28 COVID-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 6,480. The fatality rate was 0.91 percent.

The number of imported cases was tallied at 246, bringing the total imported cases to 22,551. (Yonhap)
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