April 28, 2022 12:24
Deaths jumped by about 23 percent on-year in February, the highest growth rate since statistics began in 1983, largely due to COVID-19-related fatalities.
According to Statistics Korea on Wednesday, 29,189 people died in February. The increase of 22.7 percent from a year earlier was even higher than the rise of 21.8 percent in the killer winter of January 2018.
The total number of deaths in the January-February period this year stood at 58,875, up 15.4 percent from a year earlier. The monthly increase rate rose from 10.8 percent last November to 17.7 percent in December, then fell to nine percent in January but jumped again in February.
Statistics Korea attributed the increase to the surge of the Omicron variant. A total of 1,303 people died of or with COVID-19 in February. The death rate in March and April may have been even higher since 8,172 patients died of COVID in March and 6,095 so far this month.
Births did not increase apace, accelerating Korea's population decline. Some 20,654 children were born in February, down 3.2 percent on-year and outnumbered by deaths by a whopping 8,535. Deaths have outnumbered births since November 2019.
Meanwhile, the daily tally of new infections dropped for the third day to 57,464 on Thursday morning, with 122 deaths and 552 severe cases.
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