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Coronavirus outbreak: South Korea, China back on their feet

South Korean President Moon Jae-suggested that a similar G-20 summit be convened so that it can share its findings.

Published: 16th March 2020 08:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2020 08:50 AM   |  A+A-

People wear face masks as they shop at a market in Beijing.

People wear face masks as they shop at a market in Beijing. (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: On a day Saarc leaders met virtually to discuss ways to confront the coronavirus outbreak, South Korea on Sunday offered to share its experience in successfully combating the virus to other countries battling Covid-19.

South Korean President Moon Jae-suggested that a similar G-20 summit be convened so that it can share its findings. 

With the outbreak’s epicentre shifting to Europe, S Korea’s lessons could help countries like Italy that report hundreds of deaths on a daily basis. Soon after the first wave of cases surfaced, Seoul decided to go in for extensive testing of citizens to understand the extent of the outbreak.

According to reports, 2 lakh people were tested in a few weeks. It also tracked down potential carriers by retracing the movements of those who tested positive. 

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The country also offered easy access to tests, which included 50 drive-through testing locations, mobile facilities and door-to-door visits. Tests were also done in cars to lower risks by minimising physical contact. South Korea has 8,162 confirmed cases so far but only 75 deaths have been reported as on Sunday. The country’s daily toll figures stayed in single digits. 

China is also slowly getting back on its feet with the number of deaths coming down from a peak of 150 on February 23 to 10 on Saturday. That’s remarkable progress for a country which less than a month ago was fighting an impossible battle against Covid-19. Slowly, people are getting back to work, according to a survey by Alibaba-owned Gaode, an online mapping and traffic monitoring service.

Statistics on Gaode's ‘work resumption index’ showed that ‘export powerhouse provinces’ in the southeast region are returning to normalcy.

The city of Dongguan in Guangdong province reported a ‘work resumption’ figure of 49.5%. Wuhan was at 12.5%. Reports say most companies are looking at running with 80% capacity this month and 100% by April. However, this will depend on how fast workers are able to get back to work as many of them still face travel restrictions and obligations towards health periodic checkups.

However, experts feel it may be a while before China gets back to its old glory as global demand is likely to decline in the coming months. Besides, China’s key trading partners such as South Korea, Japan and Europe are busy fighting Covid-19.  

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