South Korea's new COVID-19 cases stayed above 170,000 for the second consecutive day Thursday as the country is experiencing a new virus wave amid the continued spread of a highly contagious omicron subvariant.
The country added 178,574 new COVID-19 infections, including 633 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 21,861,296, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
It marked a slight fall from the previous day when the figure hit a four-month high of 180,803. But Thursday's figure is also 1.3 times larger than a week earlier.
The country reported 61 more COVID-19 deaths Thursday, bringing the total to 25,813, the KDCA said. The fatality rate stood at 0.12 percent.
The number of critically ill patients came to 470, according to the KDCA.
South Korea has seen another virus wave since July driven by the omicron subvariant BA.5 and the government's lifting of virus curbs.
BA.5 accounted for 87.9 percent of total infections last week. It became the dominant variant in South Korea at the end of last month.
The KDCA has said that new infections are expected to peak at around 200,000 this month before shrinking at a slower pace, though the situation could change in line with potential impacts of the summer vacation season, weather conditions and other factors. (Yonhap)