South Korea wins half-battle against COVID-19; how?
International

South Korea wins half-battle against COVID-19; how?

Agency News

The South Korea won the half battle against the Covid19 till now. When the rest of the Asian countries fear the second wave of infections, South Korea could effectively contain the spread of COVID-19 to some extent. And this country is the one of the lowest casualty rates in Covid19 in the world.

According to John Hopkins University medical researchers, as of this week, the COVID-19 death rate is 0.97 percent in South Korea, compared to 7.94 percent in Italy, 3.98 percent in mainland China and Hong Kong, and 1.68 percent in the United States.

Jerome Kim, director general of the International Vaccine Institute, said one of the reasons behind South Korea’s effective battle against Covid19 was its robust biotech industry made up of many small companies run by scientists. "The Chinese published the sequence of the coronavirus. These companies looked at it and then they rapidly developed tests," Kim said. Korean companies acted fast to come up with effective methods to test Covid19. Now South Korea has a capacity to screen some 20,000 people a day.

"They [South Korea] opened up testing centres that people could drive in and go through. They made it all free and once they identified people, they put them into quarantine," Kim said.

In early February, the government also obtained mobile phone records, credit card receipts and other private data of everyone who tested positive for COVID-19, and used the information to track the spread of the virus, making much of the data available to the public.

"In this case, you have the health of a nation or the health of a city and you have individual rights. And so I think a lot of people don't mind because they want to know where they might potentially have been exposed, particularly if they develop symptoms," Kim said.

Kim acknowledged that while South Korea has worked diligently to combat the virus, the battle is far from over. "This is a war and like a war, winning the first battle is important but it's not the only thing," Kim said.

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