South Korea's new coronavirus cases fell below 20,000 Friday as the country has been preparing to return to the pre-pandemic normal, with new infections plateauing in recent months.
The country reported 19,586 cases, including 50 imported cases, bringing the total caseload to 31,506,490, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
Friday's tally was slightly lower than the 19,989 cases the country reported a week ago. The corresponding figure was 18,742 two weeks ago.
The country added 13 COVID-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 34,665.
The number of critically ill patients came to 144, up 8 from the previous day, the KDCA said.
South Korea is set to downgrade the COVID-19 risk level to "alert" from "serious" next month, thereby removing remaining antivirus measures, in line with the World Health Organization's declaration earlier this month that the COVID-19 global health emergency is over.
Source: Yonhap News Agency