SEOUL, Jan 25 (Reuters) - South Korea's daily count of new coronavirus cases topped 8,000 for the first time on Tuesday, as the highly infectious Omicron variant spreads rapidly despite the recent extension of strict social-distancing rules to slow infection.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 8,571 cases for Monday, exceeding the previous high posted in mid-December of 7,848.

The new record came amid the spread of the more transmissible Omicron variant which became dominant last week.