SEOUL, June 18 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s new coronavirus cases remained below 10,000 for the ninth day in a row Saturday, as the spread of COVID-19 is apparently slowing down.
The country added 6,842 COVID-19 infections, including 79 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 18,270,481, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
The country reported 11 deaths, raising the death toll to 24,427. The fatality rate stood at 0.13 percent.
The number of critically ill patients came to 71, down from 82 the previous day, the KDCA said.
As of 9 p.m., the country had reported 5,760 new infections, down 725 from the same time a day earlier, according to local governments and health authorities. Daily infections are counted until midnight and announced the following morning.
South Korea’s coronavirus cases have been trending downward since they peaked at an all-time high of over 620,000 in mid-March.
Of the 6,763 locally transmitted cases, Seoul accounted for 1,245 cases, with the surrounding Gyeonggi Province reporting 1,698 cases. There were 260 infections in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul.
As of Saturday, 44.61 million, or 86.9 percent of the population, had completed the full two-dose vaccinations, and 33.34 million, or 65 percent, had received their first booster shots.
About 4.3 million people, or 8.4 percent of the population, had gotten their second booster shots, according to the KDCA.
Although the spread of the virus has been brought under control, the government on Friday extended the seven-day quarantine mandate for COVID-19 patients for four more weeks due to concerns about a resurgence of the virus.
Health authorities said the daily caseload could surge 8.3 times if the mandate is lifted and that benefits from maintaining the policy are believed to far outweigh those from lifting it.