South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Lee In-Tae says strong leadership by his country’s President Mr. Moon Jae-in, scientific and systematic COVID-19 containment framework established by South Korea and open, transparent and democratic responses in the country’s approach in the fight have flattened the curve of the virus.
Mr. Lee tells a recent interview that from the outset of the outbreak, President Moon personally visited cluster sites, providing encouragement to health workers and actively managing the situation.
According to the South Korean Ambassador, the Moon administration also established a scientific and systematic COVID-19 containment framework while proactively taking aggressive early measures.
The country was once home to one of the world’s largest clusters of COVID-19 cases, but it has recently succeeded in flattening the curve, drawing praise from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international bodies for its actions as well as a rush of requests from the international community to share its experiences.
Mr. Lee says the world is now cautiously optimistic about South Korea overcoming the situation as the country reports a visible slow-down in the number of confirmed cases.During one of his press conferences, WHO Director-General urged for the people of the world to unite in this together, do the right things with calm, and protect the citizens of the world.
In the mind of Mr. Lee, Liberia therefore needs to put in place the right measures, emulating countries that are making significant progress in the fight against this virus.That way, he says the optimism expressed by the WHO Director-General that COVID-19 is a pandemic that can be controlled, would be realized.
He explains that the South Korean Government avoided taking drastic measures such as regional lockdowns; instead, it released all related information to the public in an active and transparent manner, thereby raising public trust and drawing voluntary civic participation and cooperation.
He says the third factor that helped South Korea flatten the curve of Covid – 19 is Korea’s outstanding mass testing and diagnostic capability, built on the basis of the country’s advanced healthcare system.
By establishing the world’s first drive-thru test centers and by making use of high-quality testing kits, he details that Korean health authorities have been able to increase testing volume while significantly reducing the time required for testing, which, in turn, has prevented the rapid spread of the virus.
He adds that the fourth factor is the utilization of advanced IT technologies. By developing an app that can track the movement of confirmed patients and effectively monitor people under self-quarantine, he explains that the health authorities have been able to implement countermeasures quickly, using a smart solution.
The final factor, he says, is mature civic consciousness, adding that despite the worsening circumstances, the Korean people refused to engage in selfish behavior such as hoarding and panic-buying.“They actively supported government policies while participating in acts of considerate sacrifice and service for others, thus helping to contain the situation,” Mr. Lee explains.
Against this backdrop, he notes that there has recently been a wave of interest from countries around the world in learning about Korea’s advanced COVID-19 containment system, experience and expertise.
The COVID-19 outbreak first emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and continues to spread around the globe, infecting more than three million people and killing some 200,000 patients in 212 countries.
To curb the spread of the novel virus, countries around the world have taken a diverse range of countermeasures, including the closing of national borders and the imposition of travel bans. However, such efforts have yet to curb the spread of the pandemic.Recently, Liberia and other African countries in particular have seen a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, with over 30,000 confirmed cases and some 1,300 deaths as of April 26, 2020.