South Korea's new coronavirus cases increased for the seventh consecutive week last week, but the rate of growth slowed, health authorities said Wednesday.
The country reported 349,279 new infections for the week of Aug. 6-12, up 0.8 percent from a week earlier, with around 50,000 people infected with the virus per day, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The weekly figure has been on a steady rise since the fourth week of June, but its on-week increase dropped to 0.8 percent from 35.8 percent three weeks ago and from 23.7 percent two weeks ago.
The number of COVID-19 deaths surged 40.2 percent on-week to 136 over the cited period, while the number of critically ill patients jumped 21.5 percent to 215.
Amid the recent surge in daily coronavirus cases, the KDCA has postponed its plan to lift all antivirus curbs and fully return to pre-pandemic normalcy.
It had planned to lower the disease level of COVID-19 by two notches and lift all mask mandates at hospitals earlier this month.
"We will oversee the epidemic situation for another week and announce our plans to ease our COVID-19 disease control," a KDCA official said in a briefing Monday. "We are seeking advice from the medical circle and other experts for the current disease control situation and the planned transition to a normal state for the medical system."
Source: Yonhap News Agency