South Korea responds to coronavirus

As the coronavirus spreads across continents, many sovereign nations have resorted to border closures as the predominant countermeasure.

In an effort to deal with the challenges posed by the virus, South Korea has undertaken an aggressive approach of conducting daily testing around the clock.

To date, 70,942 tests averaging 10,000 tests daily, have been completed. The diagnostic test rate as a percentage of South Korea’s population is 0.1367% and thus is exceptionally high compared to Japan and other countries fighting the virus. The tests are being run at 79 designated health centres, in addition to authorised private hospitals and public health labs across the country. By comparison, Japan has reported conducting some 1,890 tests to date while, according to ABC News, the United States of America has thus far conducted 445 tests.

Temporary drive-thru check-up clinics have been established in parking lots with a reported average checkup time of 20 minutes, and the deployment of disinfecting drones to battle the coronavirus are also some of the measures being taken by South Korea.

In addition to the massive testing, on Monday, 24 February 2020, the Parliament of the Republic of Korea approved 3 bills updating existing laws relating to infectious diseases, quarantine and medical services. Under the Amended Infectious Diseases Act (2020) persons who refuse to take a test when so ordered face a fine of up to the equivalent of US$2,476. Further, the Health Ministry must now have a minimum of 100 epidemiological investigators up from the required 30. Other changes include restricting the export of masks and sanitisers and granting the Ministry of Defence authority to deny entry on request from the Ministry of Health.

Daily information on the coronavirus in South Korea is posted on the Honorary Consul of South Korea, Grenada Facebook page.

Honorary Consulate South Korea

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