A screening clinic in Seocho-gu, Seoul. (Yonhap)
South Korea's new COVID-19 cases dropped below 7,000 on Saturday, marking a moderate downtrend amid the easing omicron wave.
The country added 6,790 new COVID-19 infections, including 85 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 18,319,773, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
The KDCA reported 18 more deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 24,516. The fatality rate stood at 0.13 percent.
The number of critically ill patients came to 50, down from Friday's 52, marking the lowest figure since mid-November 2020.
Daily infection numbers have declined at a steady clip to stay below 10,000 since June 10, after hitting more than 620,000 in mid-March.
Saturday's infection tally is down from Thursday's 7,497 cases and Friday's 7,227.
Of the 6,705 locally transmitted cases, Seoul accounted for 1,551 cases, with the surrounding Gyeonggi Province reporting 1,713 cases. There were 334 infections in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul.
Despite the downtrend, health authorities remain cautious that relaxed virus curbs could prompt another resurgence of the virus.
South Korea removed most social distancing restrictions, except for the indoor mask mandate, in mid-April but extended the self-isolation mandate for COVID-19 patients until July 17. (Yonhap)