After China, South Korea faces worst COVID outbreak as Omicron cases rise

A healthcare worker designated for COVID testing outside hospital [FPK File Photo/Zainab]

South Korea is witnessing a sharp rise in COVID cases as the country hit another milestone, recording over 4,00,000 infection cases on Wednesday. Earlier, a steep rise in the number of infections was reported in China.

According to the state media, South Korea reported 4,00,741 new daily COVID cases, the highest since the country reported its first COVID case in January last year. Most of these cases were said to be locally transmitted.

With fresh cases, South Korea’s overall caseload has now surged to 7,629,275, international media quoted Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) as saying on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, South Korea had its deadliest day of the pandemic with 293 deaths reported in 24 hours, news agency Associated Press reported.

Witnessing a steep jump in total infections, China recorded 3,290 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, including 11 severe cases.

China, where the first virus case emerged in Wuhan in late 2019, has not officially reported any Covid-related deaths for more than a year, news agency AFP reported.

Meanwhile, in a bid to contain the virus spread, China decided to free up hospital beds as officials on Wednesday reported thousands of new cases from an Omicron-led coronavirus outbreak.

Also, China’s Jilin province was “in a last-ditch battle” against COVID, a senior Communist Party official said, as the northeastern region bordering North Korea and Russia accounted for three-quarters of China’s total new cases on Wednesday.

The sudden spike in infections has put around 17.5 million residents of the southern tech hub of Shenzhen under lockdown. Moreover, restrictions have been imposed on Shanghai and other cities.

Meanwhile, the fresh outbreak in China and Hong Kong has triggered concerns about a possible fourth wave hitting India sooner or later.


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