The National Police Agency said suicides surged to 2,153 in October alone, with more than 17,000 people taking their own lives this year to date, CBS reported.

By comparison, fewer than 2,000 people in the country have died from COVID-19 in 2020.

Experts say the pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues due to prolonged lockdowns, isolation from family members, unemployment and other financial concerns, and a lack of school structure.