learn about COVID-19, its impact, and what you can do about it.
In the face of the global pandemic, the South Korean Government has provided unique ways to overcome COVID-19 that have been in recent news worldwide. On July 15th, South Korea had a total of 13,612 of confirmed cases and there were 61 cases on the day. The number of confirmed cases increased drastically in March and April, but since April cases have been steadily declining due to the way South Korea has handled the pandemic using their experiences with the MERS pandemic years earlier.
The first unique process South Korea started is the drive-through testing system. Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention built the drive-through testing stations in the big cities such as Seoul and Daegu. Anyone who has symptoms of the virus can drive to the station and get tested. The test only takes 10 minutes and the patient stays in the car. Through this convenient system, more people were able to get tested safely and fast.
Another policy is to upload the route of confirmed people to the local service center website. When one gets confirmed positive with COVID19, they inform the health care center about the places they visited. Then, the health care center posts the places on the local website, without revealing any other personal information, encouraging people who were in the same place with the patient to get tested. This policy aided the country to gather information and warn people.
The South Korean Government also provided a disaster assistance fund to every citizen. A one person family acquires 400,000 won ($331.95), two person family gets 600,000 won ($497.93), three person family receives 800,000 won ($663.90), and more than four person family gains 1,000,000 won ($829.88). This disaster assistance fund aids people who received severe economic damage, for instance, restaurant owners. It also encourages others to spend more money, which leads to economic recovery.
The Ministry of Education announced every school to open on May 20th. Every school has to have separate desks and tables for social distancing. Wearing a mask is mandatory, and students have to check their temperature often. Not every student goes to school at the moment. Only ⅔ of schools attend in-person classes, and others participate in online classes. Students are able to continue their education while showing up to school.
The government strengthened policies for people who enter South Korea from foreign countries. When travelers arrive at the Incheon International Airport, they check their temperature. If they are confirmed to be above the normal temperature, they get the guidelines for the self-quarantine and COVID-19 testing which is free. People are required to download a self-diagnosis application on their phone in order to check the physical symptoms of the Coronavirus and make sure the government knows they are in two weeks’ compulsory quarantine.
To reopen the United States, it would be useful to consider these policies. It could help the decrease of the confirmed cases and support the economy.
Written by Jaehong Kim and Min Park
Authors and Editors