SEOUL: South Korea's new coronavirus cases stayed over 20,000 for a second day Wednesday, as the country has eased Covid-19 rules to leave behind the pandemic that upended people's lives for the past few years, reported Yonhap.

The country reported 26,147 cases, including 39 imported cases, bringing the total caseload to 31,465,107, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Wednesday's tally was higher than the 23,515 cases the country reported a week ago. The corresponding figure was 20,192 two weeks ago.

The country added 11 Covid-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 34,634.

The number of critically ill patients came to 147, down three from the previous day, the KDCA said.

South Korea is set to lower the national crisis level for Covid-19 to "alert" from "serious" next month, thereby removing remaining antivirus measures, in line with the World Health Organisation's declaration early this month that the Covid-19 global health emergency is over.