South Korea records 8,000 new coronavirus infections for first time

South Korea hit a new daily COVID-19 case record on Tuesday with more than 8,000 cases recorded for the first time in the country since the pandemic began. 

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 8,571 cases as the country battles the omicron variant, The Associated Press reported

With the surge in new cases, the government is enacting new measures to try and prevent overwhelming hospitals and workplaces.

The country reduced its quarantine time for vaccinated individuals down to seven days and said mild cases will be treated at home.

South Korea is encouraging people to get vaccinated, saying that in the last eight weeks unvaccinated individuals have made up a small percentage of new cases but account for around 60 percent of serious illnesses or deaths from the virus, according to the AP.

“While infections are increasing, cases among people in their 60s or older, who are at higher risk of serious illness and death, have so far remained at a low level,” Park Hyang, an official from the Health Ministry, said. “We believe this is because the rate of people in that age group who received booster shots has now rose to 84.9 percent.”

The country has more than 85 percent of people fully vaccinated and more than 50 percent with a booster shot.

The new surge could raise infections to 10,000 by the end of this week in South Korea, the AP noted.

Tags COVID-19 omicron Pandemic South Korea unvaccinated Vaccine

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