6-hundred 61 that's the number of patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms reported on Tuesday in South Korea a record-high since the pandemic began.
That's 32 more than the previous day, and among Tuesday's tally more than 84 percent are among people aged 60 or over.
As the country has already raised the pandemic's risk level from "high" to "very high" health authorities are concerned about waning vaccine immunity as well as ICU hospital bed shortages.
ICU beds nationwide have edged closer to full capacity.
More than 90 percent are occupied in Seoul, while beds across the nation are now close to being 80 percent full.
As of Tuesday more than 86-percent are full in Gyeonggi-do Province and over 83-percent in the city of Incheon.
Chungcheong-do province region's medical capacity is close to breaking point,.. with more than 95 percent of ICU beds in use and there are no beds available in the city of Daejeon.
To secure enough beds for the severely ill the government has decided to expand the scope for people with lighter symptoms to recover at home.
Currently a total of 5-thousand 452 people have been recovering at home which is a jump of 247 from the previous day.
BUT compared to the figure from just a month ago the number has jumped almost FIVE times.
Meanwhile Korea's education officials are also on their toes seeing a growing number of infections among students nationwide.
More than 86-percent of the total students from elementary to high schools in Seoul are back in classrooms.
But during the last week, 1-thousand 90 students have been confirmed with COVID-19 mostly catching the virus from their family members.
There were 44 more COVID-19 deaths reported on Tuesday raising the death toll to over 36-hundred.
While most deaths have been among people aged 80 and above, health authorities are carrying out epidemiologic investigations on a first COVID-19 death reported on a child under the age of 10.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.