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Why South Korea Approach To Covid 19 Can Be Different.

[Posted By Lara Keller 26/3/20 Updated 18/4/20 ] anchorTableSmall - Copy Blog Table Of Contents

Business men like Tim Martin of the UK Pub Chain JD Wetherspoon, have irresponsibly moaned that South Korea has managed to fight Covid-19 without lock-downs. This is an argument based on shameless ignorance.

According to South Korea’s rapid coronavirus testing, far ahead of the U.S., could be saving lives [LA Times, 14/3/2020]. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention responded to past outbreaks of MERS and Zika viruses by creating the infrastructure and resources of a new system for rapid mass testing.

They started this system as soon as the Covid-19 outbreak was reported in nearby China. Preparation allowed for a rapid response to the growing number of cases, which involved tracing the contacts of infected people. Under a preemptive approach people who might be infected were pursued. While full government transparency raised awareness among the public.

Even with this system the city of Korean city Daegu had to be locked down. There also appears also to be a high cultural predisposition to voluntary cooperation in Korean culture. In a letter in the New York times the strategy was summarized: “From an early stage, the Korean government has set key principles to combat Covid-19: Be quick, transparent and pre-emptive, …..” Someone should tell bar room experts like Tim Martin, that the South Korean system is the result of good government intervention and a culture of public  cooperation.

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