South Korea on Tuesday saw a record-high number of new infections.
The country logged 8-thousand 5-hundred 71 new COVID-19 cases which was up by around 4-thousand 5-hundred from a week ago.
Officials are attributing the spike to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant which is now the dominant strain and accounts for more than half of all new cases nationwide.
Son Youngrae, a senior health official said in a radio interview with local broadcaster CBS on Tuesday, that Omicron could account for more than 90 percent of all new cases in two to three week's time.
Accordingly, the country might see daily figures surpass 20 to 30-thousand in February.
Regions like Honam, as well as Gyeongsangbuk-do and Gangwon-do Provinces in particular have been hit the hardest.
8 out of 10 infections in Korea's southwestern Honam region were the Omicron variant.
Omicron accounted for 70 percent of all new infections in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province whereas in Gangwon-do Province, this number stood at nearly 60 percent.
The variant has also triggered a string of cluster infections in the greater Seoul area.
It's responsible for nearly 90 percent of all cases in the city of Pyeongtaek in Gyeonggi-do Province, and is spreading rapidly after a mass outbreak at a U.S. military base and a nursing home.
The country is set to launch a new set of prevention guidelines on Wednesday, that have been specifically drawn up to tackle Omicron.
Making the most efficient use of Korea's medical resources will be the primary focus.
COVID-19 screening centers will only conduct PCR testing on high-risk groups and those suspected to be infected.
Everyone else will have to test themselves at screening centers but using rapid antigen test kits instead.
The latest measures will first kick off on Wednesday, in the southwestern city of Gwangju, the surrounding Jeollanam-do Province and the cities of Pyeongtaek and Anseong in Gyeonggi-do Province.
The government is planning to expand these testing protocols nationwide as early as the end of this month or early February.
Also the self-isolation period for fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients will be reduced from 10 days to 7.
Shin Ye-eun, Arirang News.