High school students in Gwangju line up to get tested for COVID-19. (Photo: Yonhap)
The daily number of new coronavirus infections in South Korea came close to 5,000 Friday.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said it confirmed 4,944 cases in the last 24 hours after hitting a record high of 5,266 the previous day.
The latest tally brought the total caseload to 462,555.
The KDCA also reported 736 critically ill patients, a fresh high, and 34 additional fatalities, pushing the death toll to 3,739.
In addition, the country confirmed on Thursday its sixth case of the new Omicron variant, the son of an Incheon couple who recently returned from Nigeria.
The variant was detected in the couple, along with an acquaintance and two others, a day earlier.
In response to Omicron, all international arrivals must now undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine, regardless of vaccination status.
For the next two weeks, South Korean citizens and foreigners on long-term stay visas will be able to self-isolate at home, while foreigners on short-term stay must go to a government-designated quarantine facility.
There's a possibility it could be extended based on the coronavirus situation.