South Korea on Wednesday confirmed over 20,000 new COVID-19 cases, its highest daily figure since the pandemic began, health authorities said.

In the past 24 hours, the country registered 20,270 new cases, bringing the total caseload to 884,310, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. With 15 more fatalities, the death toll has risen to 6,787.

The highly transmissible omicron variant is said to have put the health system in pressure, and the sharp rise is also being blamed on gatherings during the Lunar New Year holidays.

The East Asian nation has fully vaccinated 43.99 million people, or 86% of its 52 million population.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.