Comparing the American and South Korean testing approaches for controlling the spread of COVID-19

  • Francis M. Malwal
Keywords: USA, South Korea, Coronavirus, Testing, COVID-19


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory tract infection cause by a novel coronavirus. The outbreak started in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and began to spread rapidly to more than 100 countries and territories. By March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) had officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Objective: To review the effectiveness of American and South Korean testing approaches of the COVID-19 plan.

Method: Daily reports of the USA’s and South Korea’s COVID-19 cases from February 15 to April 15, 2020 were examined. The outcome of interest was total number of cases and tests per one million population, daily cases reported, and percentage of recovered cases and case fatality rate (CFR). Data were analysed using Microsoft excel sheet and tables and figures generated.

Result: As of April 15 2020, USA’s and South Korea’s number of cases per million population are 1,946 and 207 cases, respectively. The daily American confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been increasing steadily from February 15 to April 15, 2020. Our study shows that South Korea and the USA recovered cases were 97% and 63%, respectively, while the case fatality rate in the USA was 37% and 3% in South Korea.

Conclusion: Despite its advanced health care systems, the USA is currently experiencing a devastating virus that has claimed many lives. This is because the USA has approached the outbreak differently. The evidence suggests that South Korea’s aggressive testing has effectively managed to control the spread of COVID-19, it increases the recovered rate and reduced the CFR more than the USA’s conservative testing approach. Although the South Korea health care system is not comparable to those in the developing countries, it worth mentioning that its plan would suit well these countries and should be adopted.

Keywords: USA, South Korea, Coronavirus, Testing, COVID-19


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2309-4613
print ISSN: 2309-4605