ANKARA – Coronavirus infections are surging again in South Korea due to the rapid spread of a highly contagious Omicron subvariant, local media reported on Tuesday.

A total of 73,528 new cases were confirmed over the past 24 hours, more than double of the previous day’s count, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) attributed the surge, which started toward the tail end of June, to the Omicron subvariant BA.5.

The daily count climbed over 10,000 on June 29 for the first time in almost three weeks, before crossing 20,000 on July 9 and then hitting 40,000 last week, the report read.

Warning that the country has entered a “new virus wave,” the KDCA said the BA.5 subvariant accounted for 52 percent of all cases in the third week of July, up from the first week’s 24 percent.

There were also 12 more virus-related fatalities in South Korea over the past day, raising the overall death toll to 24,765.

While most virus curbs have been eased in the country, the government has recommended fourth vaccine shots for people aged 50 and older, as well as people aged 18 and above who have underlying health conditions, the report added. (Anadolu)