Delta variant cases surge amid 4th wave of pandemic

South Korea has continued to report a rising number of the highly transmissible delta variant cases, adding 719 of such cases over the past week, health authorities said Monday.

The number of new delta cases accounted for 71.8 percent of 1,001 new cases of four major contagious variants of the new coronavirus reported over the cited period, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

The number of new delta variants came to only 17 during the third week of June but surged to 250 during the first week of July and over 700 in the second week of this month, the KDCA said

Health authorities said the country will witness more cases of the highly transmissible delta variant that first emerged in India down the road.

The rate of delta variant cases detected through a gene analysis came to 33.9 percent over the past week, up 10.6 percent points from a week earlier, the KDCA said

The steady rise in variant cases poses a threat to the country's virus battle currently dogged by a spike in new cases and a slowdown of its inoculation campaign.

On Monday, the country added 1,252 new COVID-19 cases, falling slightly compared with Sunday, due to fewer tests over the weekend, as worries ran high over a further uptick in new infections. The country's daily caseload has exceeded the 1,000 threshold for nearly two weeks.

A total of 16.1 million people, or 31.4 percent of the country's population, have received their first shots of COVID-19 vaccines, and 6.6 million people have been fully vaccinated, the KDCA said.

To block the inflow of the new emerging strain from India, entrants from the country are mandatorily quarantined at state facilities for seven days before being put under self-quarantine depending on the results of virus tests.

Source: Yonhap News Agency