Epidemiology and Important Lessons from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in South Korea
38 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2020More...
Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the novel virus named SARS-CoV-2 have been reported worldwide. The outbreak of COVID-19 in South Korea, located next to China, started on January 20th, 2020, and the number of infected cases has increased rapidly. In this study, we aimed to report the epidemiological characteristics and transmission of the disease and discuss the South Korean government and society’s responses to COVID-19 outbreak.
Methods: We collected demographic and epidemiologic data from the daily update of COVID-19 published by Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) until March 16th, 2020. Additional informations were extracted from the confirmed press.
Findings: The first case of COVID-19 in South Korea was reported on January 20th, 2020. Since then, the disease have progressed to community-associated infection followed by multiple mass infections associated with religious groups and hospitals, mainly from the city of Daegu. As of March 16th, 2020, 8,236 patients were confirmed to have COVID-19 and 75 deaths from the disease were reported. The Korean government has issued several guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management, prevention and quarantine of COVID-19, and society responded to the guidelines at a high level. In addition, the amendments of the legislation related to quarantine were also proposed.
Interpretation: Although the number of confirmed patients of COVID-19 in South Korea is still increasing, the upward slope tends to decrease. The efforts of the government, society, and medical staffs contributed greatly to prevent the spread of the disease. The messages given by the situation in South Korea would give clues to other countries to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Funding Statement: None.
Declaration of Interests: All authors confirm to have no actual or potential conflict of interests.
Ethics Approval Statement: Data is publicly available.
Keywords: COVID-19; Epidemiology; government policy
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