SEOUL, March 15 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s new COVID-19 cases remained over 11,000 for the second straight day Wednesday ahead of the lifting of the mask mandate for public transportation.
The country reported 11,899 new infections, including 21 from overseas, bringing the total to 30,662,229, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
It marked an increase from the previous day’s 11,401 but was 892 cases down from the previous week’s 12,791.
South Korea has managed the virus situation in a stable manner despite sporadic growth in infection numbers, with the average daily number of cases coming to around 10,000 over the past week.
The country reported 10 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 34,131. The number of critically ill patients came to 147, down from 152 a day earlier, the KDCA said.
On Wednesday, Vice Interior Minister Han Chang-seob said the government will end the mask mandate for public transportation Monday in the latest move that underscores South Korea’s efforts to return to pre-pandemic normalcy.
“Since the adjustment of mask-wearing requirements on Jan. 30, the virus situation has been in a stable condition, registering a 38 percent fall in the average daily virus infections and a 55 percent fall in new seriously ill patients,” Han said during a government COVID-19 response meeting.
The mask mandate will remain in place for medical facilities, pharmacies and other vulnerable facilities, but pharmacies in open public spaces, such as discount stores or train stations, will be exempt from the requirement.