Strategies to Respond to COVID-19 in the Republic of South Korea
The approach taken by the Republic of Korea to the COVID-19 outbreak has been characterized as “trace, test, and treat” policy. Intensive contact tracing methods have been developed during the MERS outbreak in 2015. Contacts with a COVID-19 case are quarantined and tested for diagnosis. High availability of testing is essential for focused quarantine. Timely quarantine reduces the number of patients to treat, keeping the outbreak under control. In addition, asymptomatic transmission necessitates sufficient levels of social distancing. This is currently the greatest challenge, since the epidemic is expected to last long.