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Coronavirus in South Korea, Their Secret to Stabilizing COVID-19 Spread

by Kayla Dodge / Mar 18, 2020 10:53 AM EDT
coronavirus Korea

According to an article from Business Insider, South Korea and the U.S.A reported their first cases of coronavirus on the dame say-- January 20, 2020. While South Korea still reports approximately 8,320 cases of COVID-19, the national spread had peaked on February 29 and has since then been declining in reported spreading.

South Korea reported 909 new cases of coronavirus infected people on February 29. But by March 16, the nation experienced just 74 new cases in less than one month of peaking. 

On the other hand, the U.S.A reports fewer total cases at approximately 6,420, but has been seeing a steady increase within the same time period. 

According to the South Korea Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-wha, the secret to stabilizing coronavirus spread is testing. 

"Testing is central because that leads to early detection, it minimizes further spread and quickly treats those found with the virus," Kang said in an interview with BBC's Andrew Marr. "And I think that's the key behind our very low fatality rate as well."
Kang added: "I think our system quickly approved the testing system after the Chinese authorities released the genetic sequence of the virus in mid-January.

"Our health authorities quickly conferred with the research institutions here and then shared that result with the pharmaceutical companies to then produce the reagent and the equipment for the testing.

"I think our testing is nearly a quarter of a million at this point. At 268,000 as of today."

The U.S.A, by contrast, has only carried out approximately 74,000 tests. That is 74 per every million inhabitants, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Raina MacIntyre, an emerging infectious disease scholar at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, shared that being able to diagnosis at big scales is important for controlling an epidemic. 

"Contact tracing is also very influential in epidemic control, as is case isolation," she says.

Only time will tell whether South Korea's new case statistics remain low. Experts predict that the The U.S.A, however, may continue to see a climb much like the trajectory of Europe. 

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