SEOUL, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed below 20,000 for the fourth consecutive day Wednesday due to fewer tests during the Lunar New Year holiday that ended a day earlier.
The country reported 19,538 new cases, including 29 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 30,040,556, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The daily caseload rose from 12,262 cases reported a day earlier, but it marked a sharp decline from 36,896 cases a week earlier.
The country added 25 COVID-19 deaths, bringing the death toll to 33,270. The number of critically ill patients came to 482 up from 468 the previous day, the KDCA said.
South Korea, with a population of 51 million, saw its accumulated number of COVID-19 cases reach 30 million on the previous day, three years after its first infection was reported on Jan. 20, 2020.
This year's extended four-day Lunar New Year holiday was the first of its kind without social distancing restrictions since the pandemic began.
The government plans to lift a mask mandate for most indoor public spaces, including schools, on Jan. 30, but people will still be required to wear masks on public transportation and in medical facilities.