news in korea about corona virus

  • 7 min read
  • Apr 08, 2019

Coronavirus: South Korea declares highest alert as infections ...
Coronavirus: South Korea declares highest alert as infections …

A medic prepares to take a sample of visitors to the drive-through testing center at Yeungnam University Medical Center.

By March 17, 2020, 8:00

Europe is now the center of COVID 19th pandemic. the number of cases and deaths soared in Italy, Spain, France, and Germany, and many countries have imposed lockdowns and the border was closed. Meanwhile, the United States, is hampered by the failure of the delayed and damaged assay, guessing COVID-19 load, although experts believe it is on the same trajectory as the countries in Europe.

In the midst of a horrible trend, South Korea has emerged as a sign of hope and a model to emulate. Country 50 million appears to have been greatly slow down the epidemic; it reported only 74 new cases today, down from 909 at its peak on Feb. 29. And has done so without locking down the entire city or take some other authoritarian measures. “South Korea is a democratic republic, we feel lockdown is not a reasonable option,” said Kim Woo-Joo, an infectious disease specialist at Korea University. The success of South Korea may hold lessons for other countries-and also warning :. Even after driving under the case number, the country is preparing for the resurrection

Behind the success so far of the most expansive and good-organized testing program in the world, combined with extensive efforts to isolate the infected person and trace and quarantine of their contacts. South Korea has tested more than 270,000 people, totaling more than 5200 tests per million people-more than any other country except the tiny Bahrain ,. The United States has so far conducted 74 tests per 1 million population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show.

South Korean experience shows that “diagnostic capacity at scale is the key to control the epidemic,” said Raina MacIntyre, emerging infectious disease scholar at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. “Contact tracing was also very influential in controlling the epidemic, as happened isolation,” he said.

But whether success will be holding clear. the number of new cases decreased mainly due to efforts to investigate the large cluster of more than 5,000 cases-60% of the nations total Shincheonji associated with the Church of Jesus, a secretive, mega messianic, is subsiding. But because of that effort, “We have not seen hard in other parts of Korea,” said Oh Myoung-Don, an infectious disease specialist at Seoul National University.

The new cluster now appear. Since last week, authorities have reported many new infections, including 129 associated with the call center of Seoul. “This could be the initiation of the deployment of the community,” through Seoul and the surrounding Gyeonggi Province, Kim said. This region is home to 23 million people.

South Korea to learn the importance of preparedness by the hard way. In 2015, a South Korean businessman down with the Middle East respiratory syndrome (mer) after returning from a visit to three Middle Eastern countries. He was treated at three health facilities South Korea before he was diagnosed with mer and isolated. At that time, he has triggered the chain of transmission of infected 186 and killed 36, including many patients hospitalized for other illnesses, visitors and hospital staff. Tracing, testing and quarantining plague nearly 17,000 people cancel after 2 months. The nation’s runaway epidemic scourge and dent economic worries.

“The experience shows that laboratory testing is very important to control emerging infectious diseases,” said Kim. Additionally, Oh said, “Mers experience certainly helped us to improve hospital infection prevention and control.” So far, no reports of COVID-19 infections among health care workers to South Korea, he said.

Legislation effect since it gives the government authority to collect cell phones, credit cards, and other data from people who test positive to reconstruct their latest whereabouts. That information, stripped of personal identifiers, are divided on the social media application that allows others to determine whether they may have crossed paths with the infected person.

Once the new coronavirus appeared in China, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) racing to develop tests and work with diagnostic manufacturers to develop a commercial test kits. The first test was approved on February 7, when the state has only a few cases, and distributed to regional health centers. Only 11 days later, a woman 61 years old, known as “Case 31,” tested positive. He has attended the 9th and 16th February at the megachurch services Shincheonji in Daegu, about 240 kilometers southeast of Seoul, has been feeling a little sick. Upwards of 500 participants sat shoulder to shoulder on the floor of the church during the service two hours, according to local news reports.

State identified more than 2,900 new cases in just 12 days, the vast majority of members Shincheonji. On February 29 alone, KCDC reported more than 900 new cases, bringing the total cumulative to 3150 and made the biggest outbreak in China is far outside the mainland. surge initially overwhelmed the ability of the test and this KCDC 130 detectives disease can not keep up, Kim said. Contact tracing concentrated efforts on cluster Shincheonji, where 80% of those who reported respiratory symptoms tested positive, compared to only 10% in the other group.

High-risk patients with underlying diseases get priority for admissions, said Chun Byung-Chul, an epidemiologist at Korea University. Those with symptoms are being sent to the company’s training facility repurposed and space provided by public institutions, where they receive basic medical support and observation. They were recovered and tested negative twice released. Close contact and those with minimal symptoms who have family members free of chronic disease and to measure their own temperature was ordered to self-quarantine for two weeks. A local monitoring team calls twice a day to ensure quarantined stay put and ask about symptoms. Quarantine violators face a 3 million won ($ 2500) fine. If a recent bill becomes law, the fine will go up to 10 million won and as much as one year in prison.

Despite the efforts, Daegu-Gyeongbuk area running out of room for the serious I would. Four people isolated at home, waiting for a hospital bed, was rushed to the emergency room when their condition deteriorated, only to die there, according to local media.

However, the number of new cases has dropped the past two weeks, helped by a voluntary social distance, both in the Daegu-Gyeongbuk region and nationally. The government advised people to wear masks, wash hands, many avoid and meetings, remote work, and to join religious services online instead of going to church. Those with fever or respiratory illness are urged to stay at home and watch their symptoms for 3 to 4 days. “People are surprised by cluster Shincheonji,” Chun said, which encourages compliance. Less than one month after Case 31 appears, “The cluster is coming under control,” said Oh.

But the new cluster that appears, and for 20% of the cases are confirmed, it is not clear how they became infected, indicating there are still people detectable spread. “As long as this uncertainty remnants, we can not say that the outbreak has peaked,” said Chun.

The government hope to control the new cluster in the same way it confronted one in Shincheonji. National testing capacity has reached staggering 15,000 tests per day. There are 43 drive-through national testing stations, the concept now copied in the United States, Canada, and England. In the first week of March, the Interior Ministry also launched a smartphone application that can track and collect the data quarantined symptoms.

Chun said scientists would like to see more of epidemiological data. “We literally stamping our feet,” said Chun. KCDC release the basic amount of the patient, age and gender, and how much associated with the cluster. “That’s not enough,” said Chun. He and others want to learn detailed patient individual data, which will allow epidemiologists to model the outbreak and determine the number of new infections are triggered by each case, also known as the basic reproduction number or R0; the time from infection to onset of symptoms; and whether early diagnosis improved patient outcomes. (South Korea has had 75 deaths so far, the death rate is very low, despite the fact that the church members Shincheonji were mostly young may have contributed.) Chun told a group of epidemiologists and scientists have proposed a partnership with the KCDC to collect and share information, “and we await their response.”

Kim said doctors also plan to share details of the clinical features COVID-19 case in the country in the coming publications. “We hope our experience will help other countries control the outbreak COVID 19th.”

With reporting by Ahn Mi-Young in Seoul

doi :. 10.1126 / science.abb7566

Dennis Normile is a contributing correspondent in Shanghai, China.

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