Conquering COVID-19: The South Korean model

Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a disease that originated in China. Today it has spread to nearly every corner of the planet. The most peculiar thing during this whole pandemic is the way in which different countries have responded to the situation. On one hand, countries such as South Korea and Hong Kong started their counter-attack on the virus immediately and on the other western countries decided to ignore it initially by comparing it with the flu. The Chinese government has used radical measures to control the virus, which has paid off as China has curbed the disease. These radical measures had a serious impact on China’s economy as everyone expected.

You all will be surprised to know that that there is a country that has conquered coronavirus without any significant impact on its economy which is literally what South Korea has achieved. South Korea, the US and the UK all reported their first COVID-19 cases around the same time: on January 20, January 21, and January 31, respectively. The difference in the number of recorded is staggering. While the US has already crossed the 400,000 mark South Korea has just 10,384 cases as of 8th April 2020. Out of those 10,384 cases, 200 have died and nearly 6,775 have already recovered.

South undertook extraordinary measures as soon as the epidemic was confirmed. The government opened separate gates in airports for people coming from China and it banned all flights to and from the Hubei province of china the place where the virus originated. All public places were being disinfected regularly. All of this happened even before a single case was recorded in South Korea. When they found the first case in Daegu they located patient zero in a matter of two days. Patient zero was a female member of a religious sect. The woman had been to a couple of religious events in Daegu this started the spread of coronavirus in the city of 2.46million. So the government took the list of all the members of the sect it turned out that there were more than 100,000 members. The government then resorted to mass testing. The government started manufacturing testing kits and PPE in the country itself. South Korea was ready for this as by February they made all the required equipment available to the testers and tested every member of the sect even if they didn’t show any symptoms. South Korea opened drive through testing centers that function like a fast-food drive-through. The results come within hours and all positive cases are isolated. The only way to control the virus is to locate people who are infected and by making people more aware of it. South Korea has achieved this as it is providing true facts and real-time data of nearby coronavirus patients to its citizens. The citizens then take their own precautionary measures. There are no incidences of stockpiling and panic buying in South Korea, unlike the US. South Korea has restricted more than 50% of its coronavirus cases to Daegu which is a remarkable achievement. The astonishing fact is that there is no lockdown in South Korea even public transport is functioning as normal. Seeing these results a huge question is raised that why hasn’t anyone else adopted the same model?


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