I recently discussed the situation here in Korea with Erica Parkerson, morning show host on Spirit 105.3 in Seattle. You can listen to the four minute interview here:
Korea has not implemented a ‘lock down’ situation yet. The country has achieved curve-flattening success by extensively testing (early and often), social distancing, sending hotspot details, and tracing COVID-19 patient movements. Korean authorities disseminate the latter two data points through emergency alert notifications. President Moon has compared the fight against COVID-19 to a three-legged race. We are all in this together, and we have to work together to get to the finish line.
President Moon currently opposes closing South Korea’s border to prevent the spread of the virus. He said, “Countries around the world are shutting their doors over virus fears. Once international exchanges are cut off, the economic shocks could end up more severe and longer lasting.”
I agree with his assessment. The cure could be worse then the disease if it wrecks the Korean economy. South Korea should screen travelers coming into the country but prohibiting movement in/out seems unwise.
As of March 24, Korea is reporting 9,037 confirmed cases of the virus and 124 deaths.