August 03, 2022 09:29
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Korea surpassed 20 million on Tuesday, two years and six months after the pandemic first broke out here.
It took two years and two months for infections to surpass 10 million on March 22 of this year but just about four months to double to 20 million.
Korea is among just eight countries in the world including Brazil, India and the U.S. with so many cases, probably because testing has been thorough from the start. That means two out of every five Koreans have contracted the virus at one time or another, but numbers vary according to region.
According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, the highest per-capita infections were reported in Seoul with 42,165 per 100,000 people, Sejong administrative city with 41,133 and Jeju Island with 40,248. But infections were relatively low in more rural areas like North Gyeongsang Province with 32,725, Daegu with 34,744 and South Jeolla Province with 35,004. The national average is 38,600 cases per 100,000 people.
Deaths were particularly high in Busan with 67 per 100,000 people, Gangwon Province (57) and Daegu (57) but low in Sejong (10), South Jeolla Province (28) and Jeju (28).
South Jeolla Province boasts the highest vaccination rate in the country.
Infections are surging. The average daily number in the fourth week of July stood at 79,490, up 31 percent from the previous week, although the doubling trend appears to have eased. Serious cases are also rising from 168 in late July to 284 as of Wednesday morning due to waning vaccine immunity.
The daily tally of new infections stood at 119,922 on Wednesday morning, the highest in nearly four months.
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