South Korea's daily Covid-19 tally fell to the lowest in nearly four months on Monday. Health officials said they would decide whether to relax restrictions further later the week.

Korea added 13,296 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the total caseload to 17,795,357, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). Monday's count is the lowest since Jan. 26. The agency reported 35 Covid-19 deaths, bringing the total to 23,744. The number of critically ill patients came to 345, up seven from Sunday.

The quarantine authorities said they would decide on further relaxing Covid-19 rules, including the seven-day mandatory quarantine required of confirmed patients, on Friday after collecting the opinions of experts and local governments.

On April 25, the previous Moon Jae-in administration lowered the infectious disease rating of Covid-19 from Level 1 to 2, maintained the mandatory quarantine period, and set a four-week transition period. According to the schedule set by the former government, the four-week transition period ends the following Monday, and Korea will move toward the post-Omicron phase from then on.

Officials will also allow Pfizer's Covid-19 pill, Paxlovid, for children 12 and younger with underlying diseases, and MSD's Lagevrio for those 18 and older.

The oral treatments had been allowed only to adults 60 and older, people aged 40 and more with underlying illnesses, and those with weak immune systems.

About 44.56 million people, or 86.8 percent of the 52-million population, had been fully vaccinated, according to KDCA. In addition, about 33.22 million people had received their first booster shots, representing 64.7 percent, and 3.46 million people had their second booster shots.

Meanwhile, President Yoon Suk-yeol reiterated his willingness to provide humanitarian aid to North Korea, which is in crisis due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

"We must spare no effort to provide the necessary support for North Koreans exposed to the threat of Covid-19," Yoon said during his first parliamentary address. "I have repeatedly stressed that we would provide humanitarian aid at any time and without considering political or military situations between the South and North."

Yoon added that if the North Korean authorities respond, the South Korean government will provide the necessary support, including vaccines, other medicines, medical equipment, and health personnel.

Seoul has sent a notice to North Korea through the joint liaison office, which contained a proposal for cooperation to prevent and control the Covid-19 virus. However, Pyongyang has yet to confirm whether it received the letter.

"The notice outlined our intention to provide vaccines, medicines, masks, diagnostic tools, and willingness to provide technical support," the Ministry of Unification said. "We hope North Korea will respond positively to our proposal for cooperation in health and quarantine."

According to media reports, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered his military to help with the distribution of medicines to contain the fledgling outbreak of Covid-19, with “fever-stricken cases” nearing 400,000 and the death toll hitting 50 in the past month.

On Monday, the communist country reported an additional 392,920 new fever cases and eight new deaths.

According to the state-run Korean Central News Agency, Kim reprimanded relevant officials for the delay in supplying previously ordered medication and failing to regulate increased stockpiling and illegal distribution of medicine during a politburo meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea on Sunday.

During the meeting, Kim laid out new virus prevention measures, including mobilizing troops to stabilize medical supplies in Pyeongyang.

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