South Koreas Response to COVID
Countries around the world have shut down to carve the spread of the coronavirus. Still, in South Korea, people are starting to come back out on the streets beginning in late February South Korea was reporting a sharp increase in coronavirus cases with over 5000 infected. They were registering some of the highest numbers of confirmed cases in the world. Still, then something changed, or situations in most other countries continued to rise. Korea's name started leveling off, and it indicates that Korea managed early on. They were able to do it. They learned a valuable lesson a few years ago when they thought a different coronavirus outbreak was a deadly outbreak the government was entirely caught off guard. In 2015 a Korean businessman returning from the Middle East developed a fever and a cough and eventually pneumonia he went to several health facilities for a diagnosis finally testing positive for Mercer or middle east respiratory syndrome caused by a coronavirus by that point his movements have created a chain of transmission it became hard for officials to trace they didn't know who was infected or where they had been less than two months it was a big panic In South Korea. Altogether the virus-infected 186 people and killed 38 in South Korea. The highest of anywhere outside of the Middle East into the outbreak in 2015. The government declared an end to the epidemic in 2015. However, they didn't stop planning. Many lessons were learned, like the lessons of the diagnostic test and the necessary prevention infection measures. The lessons all came into play when the next outbreak took hold in the country.
On December 31st, 2019, China reported the first case of the coronaVirus. In the following weeks, as the outbreak started spreading across South Korea only had 30 confirmed cases of the virus. Despite the low numbers, health authorities had already begun working with biotech companies to develop a test for the novel of the coronavirus. Soon they had thousands of test kits ready to go. The Lesson Learned from the MERS outbreak in 2015 was that First one is Diagnostic tests and distributed in every hospital. They prepared for the worst and the worst quickly followed. By Late February the total Number of the CoronaVirus cases rose dramatically, crossing 3000. This Made South Korea's Outbreak the largest outside the Mainland China. It all started from Daegu, where a woman went to the hospital with a fever.
Due to the government having already equipped hospitals with Coronavirus tests, doctors were able to test her. She Tested Positive and became known as patient 31. The testing didn't stop there. While she was sick, Patient 31 had gone to a megachurch where she sat with a congregation of hundreds for more than an hour, so they traced her movements, identified people she had come into contact with, and tested those people as well, whether they showed symptoms or not. Many of them also tested positive. They were quickly isolated and treated at home or at a center. Then all the people they had been in contact with were traced and tested too. This method is called contact tracing. "It is an approach that allowed Korea to test over 9,000 people who had been in contact with someone who had tested positive". After Daegu Korea Revamped testing around the country. Private and National healthcare systems joined forces to set up a mostly free testing effort. That included more than 600 locations that screen as many as 20,000 people per day. Through this system when anyone tests positive. The movement can check and trace their contacts to continue to break the transmission chains of the coronavirus on a large scale. That's only the human to human transmission. The infected person may have moved through the city touching subway polls and door handles. South Korea had prepared for this too. After the MERS Outbreak, When they weren't able to trace the movement of the virus. Korea changed the law allowing the government to collect a patient's data and security footage during the outbreak. All their steps are logged and then shared to alert people to stay away from the path of infection.
If there is some confirmed case found, let's say Person A's Office, they messaged their smartphone there is a confirmed case near that place. He moved someplace to another location to be cautious. Websites and Private apps compile the information allowing everyone to see if a person with a confirmed case of coronavirus went to a pharmacy or the hospital or anywhere else. They'll know how recently they went too. It is a means of checking the possibility of infection. Citizens are checking the coronavirus locations and are avoiding going to these areas. This information lets people know if they've crossed paths with an infected person so they can go get tested for the virus and contact tracing starts all over again. Tracing peoples every move can be controversial but many in South Korea prioritize public health over privacy in an outbreak. Since the disease can infect others, it is true that public interests tend to be emphasized more than human rights. The result of this was that South Korea was able to test hundreds of thousands of people, More than any other country at the time. This made it easier for authorities to see the virus. To see where it's located and where it may be lurking. This ability to find and treat infected people has allowed Korea to avoid aggressive lockdowns. It helps bend the curve of the outbreak that started out dangerously steep. For now Korea has turned a corner, but they continue to be prepared. They are very cautious to prevent a second wave.
Everyday is kind of a state of war. It is that kind of Vigilance that has set Korea apart in the CoronaVirus Pandemic. It wasn't the only place to test people aggressively. Singapore, Taiwan, and other neighbors saw the benefits of widespread testing too. Now Countries like Germany and the U.K. are starting to implement aggressive testing. Even the U.S., where the government has failed to provide adequate testing, is now scrambling to test more people. We know we can do more and we are continuing to accelerate in testing. South Korea's strategy of contact tracing might not be easy to replicate in countries with larger populations. However, the country's success with widespread testing still offers a way out for most countries that are stuck in lockdowns.