SEOUL, March 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases stayed below 10,000 for the second consecutive day Friday, as the virus curve keeps steady with no dramatic upturn in daily numbers.
The country reported 9,065 new COVID-19 infections, including 11 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 30,681,228, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
The latest count is down from the previous day's 9,934 and a drop by more than 1,200 from 10,335 a week ago.
The KDCA reported seven deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 34,155. The number of critically ill patients stood at 140, down by six from the previous day.
The government plans to lift the mask-wearing mandate on public transportation starting Monday, less than two months after it removed the mask requirement for most indoor places except for public transportation, hospitals and a few other high-risk areas.
The mask mandate will remain in place for medical facilities, pharmacies and other infection-prone places. Pharmacies at open public spaces, such as discount stores or train stations, will be exempt from the requirement.