This is how South Korea flattened its coronavirus curve
By early February, the first test was approved. Active collaboration among central and regional government officials and medical staff transpired before cases began piling up, enabling South Korea’s current testing capacity of 20,000 individuals per day at 633 different sites, including drive-through centers and even phone booths.
This collaborative effort was just 11 days after “Patient 31,” a member of a secretive religious group called the Shincheonji Church, caused an explosion of infections in Daegu, a major city 170 miles southeast of Seoul.
Early testing meant early detection of infections in South Korea, where a relatively larger proportion of cases exhibited either no symptoms or very mild ones, according to Hwang.
“Among Shincheonji members, there were many 20- and 30-year-olds who were infected. Many of them may have never even known they were carrying the virus and recovered easily while silently infecting those around them,” Hwang said. “Early testing is why Korea hasn’t reached its breaking point yet.”