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24 Apr, 2020 13:15

South Korea prepares to welcome back tourists, after ‘winning the fight’ against Covid-19

South Korea prepares to welcome back tourists, after ‘winning the fight’ against Covid-19

South Korea’ first infections were in February, reaching a peak of 909 new daily cases at the end of that month. It then saw a second uptick in infection and death rates in late March, raising concern over a new wave of contagion.

However, it appears to have turned the tide. According to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker, new daily reported cases in the country have been in the single figures throughout most of April. With just 237 deaths so far, South Korea has one of the lowest Covid-19 mortality rates in the world, at 2.23 percent. As a result, it’s preparing to welcome back tourists, first domestically, then gradually opening up to international arrivals.

Strikingly, South Korea managed to achieve a flattening of the curve without strict lockdowns like those imposed across most of Europe, including France, UK and Italy. The World Health Organization praised South Korea’s prompt mobilization – it had tested more than 270,000 people by mid-March – as well as its extensive use of contact-tracing technologies.

Despite the promising statistics, it is important to remain vigilant, warned Dr Ki Mo-ran, who heads up the Korean Society for Preventive Medicine’s COVID-19 task force. “Right now, our greatest jeopardy is becoming complacent,” Ki told local media.

Also on rt.com China reports recovery of last severe Covid-19 patient in ground-zero city Wuhan

Other countries in Asia are cautiously following suit. Vietnam plans to resume domestic flights this week, and its hotels are beginning to offer discounts to revive the tourism industry.

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