Infectious Diseases

South Korea Re-Tightens Restrictions After a Resurgence of COVID-19 Cases

Posted on 28 May 2020

Lockdown measures have been re-implemented in the metropolitan area of Seoul, after Thursday saw South Korea‘s largest spike of infections in almost two months.

Museums, parks and art galleries will all be closed again from Friday for two weeks, and authorities have urged residents to avoid unnecessary gatherings and for companies to give sick employees time off.

Towards the beginning of the pandemic, South Korea was praised for its rapid and effective response, including rigorous testing and contact tracing. The recent spike in cases demonstrates the risk of relaxing social distancing measures, even when the virus is well controlled.

South Korea Coronavirus: 11,344 Cases and 269 Deaths – Worldometer. (2020). Retrieved 28 May 2020, from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-korea/

Modellers at Imperial College and at Harvard have proposed that ”rolling lockdown measures” could substantially reduce the death toll during resurgences. This cyclical approach could reduce the economic impact of lockdown measures while also preventing health services from being overwhelmed.

Potential implementation of rolling lockdown measures in Great Britain. Number intensive care unit cases (orange) informs the implementation of tighter social distancing (blue).
(2020). Retrieved 28 May 2020, from https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf

References

South Korea could face return to coronavirus restrictions after spike in new cases: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/28/south-korea-faces-return-to-coronavirus-restrictions-after-spike-in-new-cases

Worldometer: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-korea/

Report 9: Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand: https://doi.org/10.25561/77482

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