South Korea's new COVID-19 cases rose back to the 12,000 level Tuesday, the day after the country lifted its mask mandate on public transportation.
The country reported 12,016 new COVID-19 infections, including 17 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 30,714,976, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
The Tuesday figure is up from Monday's nine-month low of 3,930.
The KDCA reported seven deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 34,178. The number of critically ill patients stood at 128, up from 122 the previous day.
Health authorities are closely watching the country's COVID-19 cases after it scrapped the mask-wearing mandate on public transportation Monday.
Still, the mask mandate remains in place for medical facilities, pharmacies and other infection-prone places. Pharmacies in open public spaces, such as discount stores or train stations, are exempt from the requirement. (Yonhap)