Studies Show Why S. Korea Has Been so Much More Successful than the US in Containing Covid-19
While Donald Trump's botched response to the Covid-19 pandemic will be studied for generations for what not to do during an infectious disease crisis, some nations have been much more successful and provide us with lessons for the future. South Korea emerged as an early success story in containing the virus after a major outbreak in Daegu in March.
South Korea flattened the curve early with a unified national effort of vigorous testing and virus tracing and a true collaboration between the government and the scientific community. They have had some spikes along the way to stamp out, but, to give you some idea of their success, today [August 11] in a nation of 51 million people, they only had 34 new cases and no deaths. Overall, they have reported only 14,660 cases and 305 deaths, compared to 5 million cases and 160,000 deaths in the United States.
Yes, America has a much larger population, but if you compare the statistics taking into consideration population, the results are even more startling.
Johns Hopkins [Data]: The US has suffered 49.96 deaths per 100,000 people as the result of the pandemic. South Korea's rate is less than 1 per 100,000.
So, how has South Korea done so much better at fighting Covid-19 than the United States? It's complex, but it boils down to early preparation, consistent and trustworthy national leadership, lots of testing, trust in science and an effective national health care system.
ABC: "Experts with whom ABC News spoke said South Korea's greater success in fighting the outbreak came in part due to its ability to institute widespread coronavirus testing and contact tracing far earlier in the pandemic, cheap and effective care for those who got infected, and, perhaps most importantly, a greater cultural trust in the government whose transparent and consistent messaging prompted citizens to take more protective measures ahead of the virus and generally support more aggressive contact tracing methods in its wake."
Our World in Data: ... "South Korea’s response are worthy of study, including its investments in preparedness, decisive and data-driven leadership, strategic clarity (a focus on testing and contact tracing), and willingness to be innovative."
And, South Korea is now reaping the rewards of its early vigilance battling the virus; a vigorous economic rebound. South Korea will take the smallest economic hit of any advanced nation this year.
Reuters: "South Korea’s gross domestic product will fall just 0.8% in 2020. ... That is considerably milder than the OECD average of a 7.5% contraction for this year, and far outperforms the 7.3% and 6.0% shrinkage seen for major economies the United States and Japan, respectively."
By: Don Lam & Curated Content