In the present situations as pandemic is hovering over the world ravaging the regions of Europe, South Korea’s response to the outbreak is unprecedented and gaining praise worldwide. Despite of the sudden rise in new cases of infection the country has got control and is winning the battle against COVID-19.
So, it’s not out of the world strategy that Korea has adopted instead just giving a wise thought they started to implement the widespread testing, exclusively and decisively. Despite of the large total it has gained, there is always a backup plan to stay one step ahead and that is, a solid governmental approach.
According to recent data, as soon as the outbreak emerge in China, South Korea started producing diagnostic kits. Their health authorities shared the data with medical institutes, biotech firms and produce the first kit within few days. In the meanwhile government started to gather information and develop a plan to disseminate the data including the use of credit card transaction and using surveillance footage to trace the path of infections.
Their plan of working in unity as a country, implementing and running the same rule throughout the state eventually payed off. Facilities ranging from doctors to paramedical staff, from hospital rooms to emergency services and even in provision of surgical masks, testing kits, whatever the urgent requirement was, get done and provided to all regions. It all shows the validation of South Korean government approach towards the pandemic. The reports shows that such kind of fast and stringent measures are adapted from the past experience like MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak which spread in this region in the past few years
Very rapid actions took place including intensive isolation, tracing the contacts test them and isolate them as well and most importantly the transparency of information like the speed of virus spreading and the potential risk to the people lives and their surrounding community. In the recent reports South Korea started testing before the virus spread to community. What they were expecting was a follow up of all positive reports from every individual tested but to their surprise it was reduced and aborted widespread transmission. In early march 2020 the country make people work from home and closed the schools. People reduced their travel to minimum level, trend of home delivery services became more in use.
Talking about treatment the process is like totally depends upon the condition of patient because every medicine brings along side effects, though same precautionary measures were kept under consideration most of the patients got recovered, bringing to less efficient transfer of the infection leading to low morbidity and mortality. So far it was kept most important to curb all possible measures in the early days otherwise after two or three weeks of the outbreak, it was so strenuous to handle with. According to research South Korea was testing more than 10,000 people daily including drive-thru testing. In the meanwhile Korean companies making diagnostic tools and kits improved their products and efficiency. South Korean government knew what it has to do, rolled out measures very quickly.
Perhaps inevitably the research analysis shows that Korean culture played a vital role and remarkable difference in defeating the deadly virus that is social trust, community orientation and sacrificing for greater cause. Also a general consensus and staying committed to what actually is applied and acted leads to put the plan and strategies in right direction for a sustainable period.
As far as vaccine is concerned there are three phases before its set in motion. First is safety that is to make sure that it’s safe and secure to use, second is dose finding, like what will be the positive outcome, the optimal response of it and final is the efficiency, that’s the most biggest and expensive phase which takes a long time that shows vaccine feasibility.
As In the middle when the situation is getting worse and worse it’s very hard to know that steps taken to tackle will either go in right direction or not. So for that preplanning is very important also in case of people showing willingness and support to take strategic steps and joined up response to help each other as possible can make a difference.
Finally the most important lesson the other nations can learn is having the synergy between people and government in handling the critical situations also following the instructions and guidelines the government is trying to give.
By: Arnab Ahmed