|A note instructing visitors to wear face masks is posted at the entrance of a shop in Seoul, Dec. 5. Yonhap|
Korea's new COVID-19 cases sharply rose Tuesday to reach the highest total in 83 days amid lingering concerns that the country may face a winter surge of virus infections.
The country reported 77,604 new COVID-19 infections, including 84 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 27,408,854, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
The tally is sharply up from Monday's 23,160, when daily infection cases tend to slow due to fewer tests over the weekend.
It is the highest since the country reported 93,949 new cases on Sept. 14. The corresponding figure was 71,461 a week ago, and 72,858 two weeks ago.
The country added 24 COVID-19 deaths, raising the total to 30,793.
The number of critically ill patients stood at 443, down from Monday's 458.
The coronavirus has been gathering steam again in recent weeks in Korea, as people retreat from colder weather and spend more time indoors where the risk of infection is higher.
Korea has kept the indoor mask mandate in place, which it sees as an essential measure to protect people from contracting the virus. (Yonhap)