How does Korea 'speedily' test for nCoV? 0How does Korea 'speedily' test for nCoV? 0

A person living in the same apartment building with her tested positive for nCoV.

The next afternoon, she received a phone message informing her that she tested negative.

A nurse works at a testing station outside Yangji Hospital in Seoul on March 17.

South Korea has the most aggressive screening policy for people infected with nCoV in the world, and experts say this is the main reason why the number of new infections in the country has decreased recently.

As of March 16, South Korea has tested about 250,000 people, meaning one person for every 200 people has been tested, much higher than the US and Europe.

This approach faced few obstacles when implemented in South Korea, which has a single-source health insurance system and comprehensive infectious disease laws that helped speed up the response to Covid-19.

The Korean government approved the first test kit on February 4, produced by Seoul-based biotechnology company Kogene, when the country had only recorded 16 cases.

Three other companies were also quickly approved to produce kits after 10 days.

South Korea has the ability to test up to 20,000 people per day at 633 locations nationwide, including drive-through testing stations and new facilities set up when a building records an infected person.

Test for nCoV without leaving your car

South Korea tests for nCoV without leaving the car.

The kit provides results in 6 hours and patients usually receive results within a day.

The effectiveness of South Korea’s `massive` testing measures becomes even more striking when compared to the slow response in the US and Europe.

Because many people cannot be tested, officials have to `grop around in the dark` because they cannot determine the extent of nCoV’s spread.

Only about 3% of South Korea’s nCoV tests returned positive results, in contrast to Italy, where one in every six people tested was infected.

One of the reasons why Korea has implemented this policy well is that the government had increased authority after the MERS epidemic 5 years ago.

Health officials hold two press conferences a day to announce the epidemic situation.

Doctors can order patients for testing if they develop fever, respiratory symptoms or unexplained pneumonia after traveling to 11 countries heavily affected by Covid-19.

Even those who requested testing themselves did not encounter any problems.

Three medical staff wearing protective gear took his sample and took X-rays at a cost of 150,000 won (about $125), which was then paid by Moon’s private insurance.

Finally, the test results showed that Moon was negative for nCoV.

Phuong Vu (According to WSJ)

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