How has South Korea Handled the Epidemic?
Instead of taking the Chinese approach of locking down affected cities, South Korea has embraced a model of open information, public participation and widespread testing.
Each confirmed coronavirus patient’s contacts are traced and offered tests.
The infected person’s movements over the next 14 days — determined through credit card use, CCTV footage and mobile phone tracking — are also posted on government websites, with text message alerts sent to people when a new infection emerges in the area where they live or work.
The tactic has raised privacy concerns, but enables people to come forward for checks.
Testing fees are around 160,000 won (US$134), but free for suspected patients — people linked to confirmed cases — or those who test positive, encouraging participation.
That helps with early detection and tackling the spread of infection.
South Korea has conducted more diagnostic tests faster than any other country — around 10,000 per day — which specialists say has helped the country with early detection of patients and tackling the infection’s epicenter.