Officials say the South Korean omikron wave has probably reached the top

South Korea says its daily average new COVID-19 cases dropped last week for the first time in more than two months

SEOUL, South Korea – The daily average of South Korea’s new COVID-19 cases dropped for the first time in more than two months last week, but the number of critically ill patients and deaths in the Omicron-driven outbreak will continue to rise, officials said Monday.

South Korea reported an average of about 350,000 new cases last week, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Monday. This is the first drop in the weekly average in 11 weeks, said KDCA Commissioner Jiang Eun-kyung.

In severe cases, the number of virus patients and deaths are expected to continue to rise, Jeong said. Experts say these numbers are often about two weeks behind the evolution of the case count.

Health Minister Kwon Duke-Chioul separately said the outbreak had reached its peak under Omicron, although more thorough analysis was needed to confirm whether the outbreak had shifted to a downward trend.

On Monday, South Korea reported 187,213 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24-hour period, dropping the daily case to less than 200,000 in 25 days for the first time. The number of critically ill patients reached a record high of 1,273.

The highly contagious Omicron variant has forced South Korea to abandon a rigorous COVID-19 response based on mass laboratory testing, detection and segregation of aggressive communications, focusing on limited medical resources in priority groups, including those 60 years of age and pre-existing medical conditions. Done.

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