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New COVID-19 cases fall to lowest Saturday tally in 3 months


South Korea's new coronavirus cases declined to the lowest tally for a Saturday in three months as the country seeks to return to pre-pandemic normalcy.

The country reported 19,431 new COVID-19 infections, including 59 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 24,953,135, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.

The figure is the lowest Saturday tally since July 2, when the cases hit 10,708.

The latest virus wave, triggered by the spread of a highly contagious omicron variant, has been on a downturn since mid-August, when it peaked at above 180,000 cases.

The government lifted all outdoor mask mandates on Sept. 26, while maintaining the indoor mandates for further monitoring.

In October, the daily new cases have remained under 30,000, except for Wednesday.

New deaths from COVID-19 stood at 32 on Saturday, down nine from Friday, raising the death toll to 28,646.

The number of critically ill patients came to 287, down 42 from a day earlier. (Yonhap)