SEOUL: South Korea’s new daily COVID-19 cases topped 100,000 for the first time amid an Omicron outbreak, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said on Friday (Feb 18), though deaths have remained relatively low in the highly vaccinated country.
Authorities announced on Friday they would slightly ease a curfew on businesses from 9pm to 10pm, but retain other measures such as a six-person cap on private gatherings, a seven-day quarantine for international arrivals, mask mandates in public spaces, and vaccine passes for a range of businesses.
The measures would be in place until at least Mar 13, officials said, after the Mar 9 presidential election.
As cases have surged, South Korea has scaled back the tracking, tracing, and quarantining strategy that helped it keep earlier waves in check.
Now people with few or no symptoms are being treated at home rather than health facilities, and only people in priority groups get immediate access to free PCR tests.
Others must first take a rapid antigen test for faster initial diagnosis.