SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s new COVID-19 cases fell to the lowest Tuesday tally in 10 weeks in a sign of a downturn in the virus’ spread.
The country reported 60,041 new COVID-19 infections, including 87 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 29,599,747, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
The tally marked the lowest for any Tuesday since Nov. 1, when the country reported 58,359 new cases.
The country added 44 COVID-19 deaths, bringing the death toll to 32,669. The number of critically ill patients came to 541, up from 532 the previous day, the KDCA said.
The government has been stepping up its efforts to contain the local spread of the virus by overseas entrants, monitoring the recent surge in infections in China and other adjacent regions.
Of the 87 new cases of overseas infections reported Tuesday, 53, or 61 percent, were from China, the KDCA said.
Last week, South Korea began requiring arrivals from China to present a negative PCR or antigen test for the coronavirus before boarding and undergo a post-entry PCR test to help slow the overseas inflow of the virus.
Travelers from Hong Kong and Macao also have to show a negative pre-entry virus test.
On Tuesday, China announced the suspension of new issuance of short-term visas for South Koreans in retaliation against South Korea’s strengthened antivirus curbs against arrivals from China.
China plans to “adjust” the measure in accordance with the situation in which South Korea cancels its “discriminatory entry restrictions against China,” the Chinese Embassy in Seoul said.