South Korea reports lowest number of new cases

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individuals in Seoul have been disinfecting their very own neighbourhoods

South Korea has reported the lowest number of new coronavirus cases since an infection charges peaked 4 weeks in the past, fuelling hope Asia’s worst outbreak outdoors China could also be abating.

The nation recorded 64 new cases of Covid-19 within the final 24 hours, taking the whole to eight,961 with 111 deaths.

But well being officers warn in opposition to complacency, saying the nation nonetheless faces a protracted struggle in opposition to the an infection.

Europe is at the moment on the centre of the pandemic.

Italy reported 651 new deaths on Sunday, bringing the whole there to five,476, whereas Spain added one other 462 deaths previously 24 hours for a complete of 2,182.

In New York, the city mayor warned of a worsening outbreak, with injury accelerated by shortages of key medical provides.

And the expectation that the battle in opposition to the virus might be a protracted one was strengthened by information from Japan that its prime minister has admitted for the primary time that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games could be postponed.

How completely different is South Korea’s method?

Nearly 20,000 individuals are examined on daily basis for coronavirus in South Korea, extra individuals per capita than wherever else on this planet.

The nation has created a community of private and non-private laboratories and gives dozens of drive-through centres the place individuals with signs can verify their well being standing.

South Korea developed its method after an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) in 2015, when 36 individuals died within the nation, which had the second-largest number of Mers cases after Saudi Arabia.

Mers pressured the nation to reassess its method to infectious illnesses and its Centres for Disease Control arrange a particular division to organize for the worst, a transfer which seems to have paid off.

Laws on managing and publicly sharing data on sufferers with infectious illnesses modified considerably after Mers and could possibly be seen in motion this 12 months when the federal government used telephone alerts to inform individuals in the event that they have been within the neighborhood of a affected person.

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This weekend, the federal government stepped up preventative motion by sending out emergency alerts urging individuals to steer clear of locations which encourage mass gatherings resembling church buildings, karaoke rooms, nightclubs and gymnasiums.

It additionally requested spiritual leaders to verify the temperature of followers and preserve them at the least two metres aside throughout any companies they deemed vital.

A number of church buildings are actually dealing with authorized motion after violating the rules.

Why is South Korea fearing a new wave?

The country has seen two waves of infections, Yonhap information company reports, the primary starting on 20 January with the primary confirmed case, and the second with mass infections amongst a non secular group.

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Passengers arriving in Incheon from London are being quarantined for 2 weeks

Now there are fears that imported cases may gas a 3rd wave.

The authorities plans to put in round 20 telephone booth-style check amenities inside Incheon Airport to hurry up the method of testing all arrivals from Europe.

The new entry procedures began on Sunday. So far 152 individuals have arrived within the nation exhibiting signs of the virus and they’re awaiting their check outcomes.

South Korea is at a essential juncture. Yes the aggressive use of know-how to hint the virus and the mass testing of all who’ve been involved with the an infection seems to be a method that has labored however the query docs throughout the nation are asking themselves is – what comes subsequent?

The purpose is to reopen colleges in two weeks’ time. That is why the federal government is sending out pressing messages calling on the inhabitants to take care of social distance measures for the following 15 days to keep away from any spike in infections. Spring has arrived and individuals are wanting to take pleasure in themselves. The sense of solidarity that this can be a battle to be gained collectively is crumbling barely. Health officers are hoping the stark warning that this can be a extended struggle will encourage them to carry the road and steer clear of mass gatherings.

Doctors, in the meantime, are discussing the following doable steps. The hint, check, deal with method will proceed. But it’ll additionally must be thought by. For occasion, what occurs when lecture rooms develop into contaminated? Do they isolate all the college? Shut down all colleges once more? Continue to disrupt regular life?

At a press convention, the top of the National Medical Committee, Dr Oh Myoung-don, instructed reporters there could possibly be one other spike in infections as soon as colleges re-opened. He can also be involved a couple of doable resurgence of the virus this coming winter. He raised the chance that it could be time to permit half of the inhabitants to get sick. The “herd immunity” idea. He acknowledges the danger but additionally believes now could be the time to be having these conversations and warn the general public.

The paradox of South Korea’s success is that having labored so laborious to decrease an infection charges, their medics must preserve going. It’s a bit like climbing a steep mountain with out figuring out how excessive the height might be or what obstacles could also be in the way in which. The dire scenario in Europe additionally has many right here anxious that in the event that they let up just a bit, that too could possibly be their destiny.

What’s taking place elsewhere?

  • Italy banned individuals from travelling outdoors the municipality they’re at the moment in, even to return to their regular place of residence, apart from pressing work or well being causes
  • Russian navy transport planes started delivering desperately wanted ventilators, disinfection gear and medical groups to Italy, which has the very best loss of life toll on this planet

  • Saudi Arabia introduced a 21-day dusk-to-dawn curfew with exemptions for key employees
  • The United Arab Emirates, house to main carriers Emirates and Etihad Airways, is to droop all passenger and transit flights for 2 weeks

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