South Korea has confirmed the lowest number of new coronavirus cases since infection rates peaked four weeks ago. This is a hope that the Asian outbreak outside of China could subside.
Within 24 hours, there are only 64 new cases of Covid-19, a total of 8,961 cases and 111 deaths. However, South Korea is still the same as the other countries and is no exception for new cases. Health officials have warned of complacency and said the country is still facing a long war against the spread of this virus.
The fewer new cases result from the approach that South Korea has chosen. In this country, almost 20,000 people go through the virus test every day. This is more than in any other country in the world.
The country has also created a network of private and public laboratories. They also offer dozens of transit centers where people with suspicious symptoms can check and confirm whether this is the case.
They developed this approach after an outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) in 2015. The virus killed 36 people in the country, making it the second-largest after Saudi Arabia.
Because of this Mers virus, the country had to rethink how to deal with infectious diseases. This led to the creation of a special section of the disease control centers to prepare for the worst. This step pays off and is what we see from the few new cases.
After the Mers outbreak, there were also changes in the laws governing the administration and public disclosure of information about patients with infectious diseases. These changes are now bearing fruit. The government uses telephone alerts to inform its citizens when they are close to a victim.
This weekend, citizens received phone calls from the government warning them to stay away from crowded places like karaoke rooms, night clubs, gyms, and churches. Those churches that don’t follow the rules, their leader now faces legal judges.
The country had two waves of infection, the Yonhap news agency reports. The first wave was on January 20 when the first case was confirmed. The second fall wave came from infections among religious groups. There is still the possibility of a third wave and this has required further mitigation.
For example, the government is planning to install around 20 test facilities in the style of a telephone booth at Incheon Airport. This is to accelerate the virus test every time you arrive from Europe.
As of Sunday, there were up to 152 arrivals and everyone is waiting for their test results.
South Korea is at a critical point, but the aggressive use of technology to track the availability of this virus and a must test to anyone who has come into contact with an infected person is now promising.
They all do this so that schools will open in two weeks. Spring is here too and people want to have fun. The trace, test and treat approach will therefore continue.