South Korea’s deadliest day of pandemic amid omicron surge | Daily News

South Korea’s deadliest day of pandemic amid omicron surge

* New Delhi ends restrictions as virus cases fall
* New CDC COVID-19 guidelines suggest 70% of Americans can stop wearing masks
Fines for not wearing masks in New Delhi have also been reduced.
Fines for not wearing masks in New Delhi have also been reduced.

SOUTH KOREA, INDIA,US: South Korea saw its deadliest day of the pandemic on Saturday, reporting 112 fatalities in the latest 24-hour period, as it grapples with a wave of coronavirus infections driven by the fast-moving omicron variant.

Health workers diagnosed 166,209 new cases, which came close to Wednesday’s one-day record of 171,451 and represented more than a 37-fold increase from daily levels in mid-January, when Omicron first emerged as the country’s dominant strain.

More than 640 virus patients were in serious or critical condition, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said, compared to around 200-300 in mid-February. The Health Ministry said about 44% of the country’s intensive care units designated for COVID-19 patients are occupied.

More than 86% of the country’s population of more than 51 million have been fully vaccinated and around 60% have received booster shots.

The country has been rolling out fourth vaccination shots to people at nursery homes and long-term care settings to protect them from the Omicron surge. Officials on Wednesday approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 and plan to announce the rollout for that age group in March.

Meanwhile, India's capital New Delhi has announced the end of all the remaining COVID-19 restrictions after Government data showed cases of the recent Omicron variant had fallen.

Places of religious worship were also permitted to reopen. Schools will function fully offline from April 1 while fines for not wearing masks were also reduced.

The area's disaster management authority "withdraws all restrictions as situation improves" and because people were "facing hardships due to loss of jobs", Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Twitter. Since the outbreak in 2020, India has officially recorded 42,905,844 cases and 513,481 deaths, third behind only the US and Brazil.

Meanwhile, The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday offered a new strategy to help communities across the United States live with the coronavirus and get back to some version of normal life.

The new guidelines suggest that 70 per cent of Americans can now stop wearing masks and no longer need to social distance or avoid crowded indoor spaces.

The recommendations no longer rely only on the number of cases in a community to determine the need for restrictions such as mask-wearing. Instead, they direct counties to consider three measures to assess risk of the virus: new Covid-19-related hospital admissions over the previous week and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by Covid-19 patients, as well as new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the previous week.


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