The country added 1,805 more COVID-19 cases, including 1,767 local infections, raising the total caseload to 228,657, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
Daily infections rebounded after falling to 1,556 on Monday and 1,373 on Tuesday due to fewer tests over the weekend and the Liberation Day that fell on Monday. The figures stood at 1,930 on Saturday and 1,817 on Sunday.
The country added five more deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 2,178. The fatality rate was 0.95 percent.
Since early July, South Korea has been grappling with the fourth wave of the pandemic amid the fast spread of the more transmissible delta variant and slow vaccinations.
For more than a month, the greater Seoul area, home to half of the country’s 52 million people, has been under the toughest virus curbs. Some other regions outside the greater Seoul area are also under the toughest virus restrictions.
Despite the Level 4 distancing rules, the number of daily infections has topped 1,000 for 43 days in a row. The country reported a record high 2,223 cases Wednesday.
Health authorities said they are reviewing more enhanced antivirus measures to contain the pandemic.
A delay in the vaccine supply by U.S. drugmaker Moderna Inc. is also complicating the country’s efforts to accelerate the vaccine rollout.
Moderna notified the government that it will supply less than half of the 8.5 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine planned for August.
The supply setbacks have raised doubts over the government’s plan to administer at least the first shot to 70 percent of the population, or 36 million people, by Sept. 19 and to achieve herd immunity in November.
As of Wednesday, 23.78 million people, or 46.3 percent of the population, had received their first shots of COVID-19 vaccines, the KDCA said.
The number of fully vaccinated people stood at 10.49 million, or 20.4 percent.
Of the locally transmitted cases, Seoul reported 507 new cases, and Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds the capital city, identified 509 new patients. The southeastern port city of Busan reported 123 more cases, and Incheon, 40 km west of Seoul, added 91 cases.
The number of new imported cases came to 38, raising the total to 12,957.
The number of patients with serious symptoms across the country reached 366, up from 354 a day earlier, the KDCA said.
The total number of people released from quarantine after making full recoveries was 199,582, up 2,358 from a day earlier. (Yonhap)Internet Explorer Channel Network