South Korea's new COVID-19 cases remained below 50,000 for five days in a row Wednesday, as the pandemic has been in retreat for two months and the country has tried to resume pre-pandemic normalcy.
The country reported 41,286 new COVID-19 infections, including 326 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 24,502,968, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
The daily figure is the lowest of all Wednesday tallies since cases dropped to 40,240 on July 13, and declined by more than 52 percent from 93,981 a week ago.
The recent downturn came after the COVID-19 omicron variant surged again in early July and peaked above 180,000 cases on Aug. 17.
The KCDA said the weekly infections from Sept. 11-17 decreased by 20.1 percent from the previous week, a sign that the virus wave was subsiding.
New deaths from COVID-19 rose to 59, up from 24 a day ago, putting the death toll at 27,950. The fatality rate was 0.11 percent.
The number of critically ill patients came to 494, down three from a day earlier.
On Wednesday, the health authorities unveiled a plan to vaccinate high-risk groups with updated boosters that can defend against the omicron variants from next month.
The priority groups include patients in long-term care hospitals and facilities, the elderly, disabled and immunocompromised.
They can book a shot in advance, starting next Tuesday.
"A possible coronavirus resurgence and the spread of influenza in winter make getting additional booster shots very important for high-risk groups to protect their health," KDCA Commissioner Peck Kyong-ran said. (Yonhap)