South Korea hits new COVID-19 record, ends quarantine exemptions to Omicron . to block

people waiting in a line to undergo coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test on his test site in Central Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 1, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

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SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Reuters) – The daily number of coronavirus cases in South Korea has risen to new high on Thursday, when authorities end quarantine exemptions for fully vaccinated incoming travelers for two weeks in an offer to repel off the Omicron variant.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 5,266 cases for Wednesday, a day after the daily number exceeds 5,000 . alley for the first time in the midst of worries over a sharp rise in patients with severe symptoms.

South Korea requires 10-day quarantine for all inbound travelers for two weeks from Friday, cessation of previously granted exemptions for fully vaccinated peoplethe KDCA said.

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The measure came after South Korea confirmed to be first five cases of the Omicron variant late on Wednesday including fully vaccinated couple who arrived last week from Nigeria, followed by two of their family members and a friend.

The government limited arrivals from eight countries including South Africa, where the variant was first identified. It will now add Nigeria to the list, met effective Friday, while direct flights from Ethiopia will be suspended from Saturday, the KDCA said.

“Goods on a bumpy one path to a phased recovery of normality, and risks of the new Being an Omicron variant rising, “President Moon Jae-in told a meeting with christian groups on Thursday.

The country has almost 92% fully vaccinated of adults and now focuses on on vaccinate children and a booster program, but experts have warned cases could persist rise due in participate in the spread of the potential more portable variant.

The number of cases has risen since distance barriers were relaxed last month, and the government this week suspended plans for further easing through growing strains on his health care system of rising hospital admissions and death rates as well as Omicron concerns.

KDCA data showed the number of severe cases rose to a record 733, and 90% of beds in the intensive care unit in greater Seoul area are busy, with 915 patients waiting for recognition.

Total number of infections increased to 457,612 with 3,705 dead.

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Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Richard Pullin

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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