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S. Korea surpasses 700,000 total COVID-19 cases Updated: 2022-01-18 09:54:35 KST

South Korea's total number of COVID-19 cases during the pandemic has now topped 700,000 with another 4,72 new cases added on Tuesday.
309 were imported cases, while the rest were domestic infections.
Health authorities worry that Omicron may fuel a resurgence in cases.
Authorities found almost 2,700 new Omicron infections in the past week, 27 percent of the sampled domestic cases.
That's more than double the week before.
Experts project that Omicron will become the dominant strain by this weekend.
It's already the dominant strain in Jeollabuk-do province, which has seen more than 100 coronavirus cases for six days straight.
Officials on Monday judged South Korea and its capital region to be at 'moderate risk' of COVID for the second week in a row, giving the region's medical services a little more wriggle room.
But with Omicron, the risk may grow.
Even though Omicron does appear to bring a relatively low risk of critical illness, with 7 critical cases and 6 related deaths out of more than 5-thousand reported cases so far, the sheer volume of infections could overwhelm the health sector.

"With Omicron quickly spreading, the number of patients may soar. We are currently changing the prevention system and patient response system to adapt to the Omicron variant's characteristics.

On the treatment front, health authorities said Monday that 39 people in South Korea have been treated with Pfizer's oral treatment and none of them have reported any side effects with most seeing their conditions improving.
Israel, which took the lead in the use of Paxlovid, also reported somewhat optimistic results.
92 percent of the pill's recipients showed an improvement in three days
However, 6 percent had to stop mid-treatment due to side effects.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News
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