New virus cases back over 600; vaccination drive on smooth path

주경돈 / 2021-06-09 09:33:25
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▲ Health workers wearing masks guide citizens at a vaccine inoculation center in Seoul on June 7, 2021. (Yonhap)

▲ A health worker prepares to give a COVID-19 vaccine shot at an inoculation center in Seoul on June 8, 2021. (Yonhap)

coronavirus-additional cases

New virus cases back over 600; vaccination drive on smooth path

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's daily new virus cases bounced back to over 600 Wednesday due to sporadic cluster infections as the country's inoculation drive gains traction on increased vaccine supply.

The country reported 602 more COVID-19 cases, including 581 local infections, raising the total caseload to 145,692, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Wednesday's figure was sharply up from 454 cases Tuesday. Daily cases here usually spike from Wednesday as more people get tested.

Daily caseloads have been going through some ups and downs between the 400s and 700s in recent months with no significant signs of a letup due to lingering cluster infections nationwide.

The country added two more deaths, raising the death toll to 1,977. The fatality rate was 1.36 percent.

Health authorities are speeding up vaccinations in order to inoculate 14 million people by the end of this month and 36 million by September. The country aims to achieve herd immunity in November but hopes it can be reached earlier than expected with the increased vaccine rollout.

Earlier Wednesday, the Pfizer vaccine for 325,000 people arrived in the country. Additional Pfizer vaccine doses for 975,000 people are scheduled to be supplied later this month.

The country began inoculating seniors aged 60-64 and military soldiers under age 30 from Monday. Reserve forces, civil defense members and others in charge of defense and foreign affairs are set to receive Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine starting Thursday.

Health authorities said the Moderna vaccine can be administered starting next week.

Of the 581 newly locally transmitted cases, 181 came from Seoul, 155 from Gyeonggi Province and 21 from Incheon, 40 kilometers west of the capital.

The southeastern city of Daegu, once the country's virus hotspot, reported 44 more cases.

There were 21 additional imported cases, up two from a day earlier, raising the total to 9,220.

Health authorities are especially keeping close tabs on COVID-19 variants from overseas that are believed to be more contagious.

The KDCA data showed the number of seriously or critically ill COVID-19 patients was 146, down three from the previous day.

The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries was 136,174, up 762 from a day earlier, with 7,541 people being isolated for COVID-19 treatment, down 162 from a day ago.


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