As the domestic Corona 19 Omicron mutation spreads rapidly, the number of new confirmed cases today (20th) increased to the mid-6,000s.

On the other hand, the number of patients with severe severe disease, which exceeded 1,000 by the end of last year, has steadily decreased and has fallen to the 400 level in about two months today.

As of 00:00 today, the Central Quarantine Countermeasures Headquarters announced that there were 6,603 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 712,503.

The number of new confirmed cases increased by 798 from yesterday's 5,805, reaching 6,000 for the first time in 27 days since December 24 (6,233) of last year.

The number of new confirmed cases today is 2,439 more than 4,164 on the 13th a week ago, and 2,480 more than the 4,123 on the 6th two weeks ago.

Due to social distancing and the expansion of the third dose of vaccine, the daily number of confirmed cases, which was maintained at 3,000 to 4,000, surged to 5,000 yesterday, and rose to 6,000 today, showing signs of an Omicron pandemic.

Authorities predict that the number of new confirmed cases will reach 7,000 by tomorrow and Omicron's domestic share will exceed 50%, surpassing the delta mutation to become the dominant species.

In particular, the government is planning to immediately switch from Omicron's 'preparation stage' to 'response stage' when the number of daily confirmed cases exceeds 7,000.

In the response stage, local hospitals and clinics will also conduct rapid antigen testing and treatment for COVID-19 patients, and prioritize the high-risk group, such as having the elderly 65 years and older undergo PCR (gene amplification) testing first.

In addition, the quarantine period for confirmed patients will be shortened from 10 days to 7 days.

The number of severe cases continues to decline.

Today, the number of patients with severe serious illness was 488, 44 fewer than yesterday (532), and it has fallen to 400 in 62 days since November 19 (499) of last year.

(Photo = Yonhap News)