Coronavirus: This is How South Korea Set an Example to the World
|A nurse is holding a test tube | Representative|
Behind a hospital in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, 45-year-old Rachel Kim turns down the glass while bringing her car out of the car parking lot and then spreads her tongue out. She went to Daegu last week. Daegu is the region of South Korea that was vulnerable to the Coronavirus.
Rachel has been coughing and had a fever since returning from there. Since the coronavirus infection is spread across the world at present, she was also surrounded by the fear that whether she has been infected or not.
She decided that she would get her test done so that her doubts would be clear. Dozens of such centers have been built in South Korea where you can do tests while sitting in a car.
At these centers, people do stand in white protective clothing from head to toe. They have good gloves on their hands, glasses on the eyes and surgical masks on the mouth.
One of these two men standing at the center gives Rachel a swab stick(an instrument used in the examination). Rachel takes it in her mouth and then hands it to another person standing for examination, keeping it safe in a test-tube.
After that difficult investigation.
She takes another swab inside her nose. It is a bit painful because her eyes got full of water. But this entire process is completed in one and a half minutes.
After this, she turns up the mirror of her car and drives out of the parking area. If the result of their investigation is positive, she will be called and informed about it. If the result is negative then just one message.
Negative pressure room
Around 20,000 people are being investigated every day in South Korea. This data of testing is more than any other country in the world.
Shortly after Rachel left the parking lot, her sample was sent to a nearby lab. These labs were designed for the coronavirus test in South Korea are working 24x7.
In view of the increasing infection of Coronavirus, many such labs have been prepared which are working to defeat this epidemic on the front-line.
South Korea has built 96 public and private labs for the coronavirus test.
Health officials believe that in this way people's lives can be saved. The coronavirus death rate in South Korea is 0.7 percent. If we talk about the rate released by the World Health Organization at the global level, then it is 3.4 percent. But scientists believe that the situation is worse than this because every case is not being registered.
They told me "Test is done in this negative pressure room."
Two doctors were present inside that room. They were wearing a light yellow safety shield. They would go to one corner of the room, sometimes to the other. They were picking up test tubes placed on one table and keeping them on another table.
We could hear the sound of dozens of machines around us. These were constantly working and giving results. These machines were doing a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. If assess it in simple terms, these machines were investigating which sample is positive.
From storing the sample in the test tube to the test results, it takes five to six hours.
Lesson from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MURS)
Professor Gey Chiol is the chairman of Conn. Laboratory of Medicine Foundation. He says that it is a part of South Korean genes to do all this at such a rapid pace. They call it the Korean 'Bali-Bali' gene.
Bali is a Korean word, which means quick.
They say this because South Korea managed to find a way to test and they created a network of laboratories across the country that started working actively within just 17 days.
But behind all these quick responses is our bitter experience of the past.
"We have learned to fight the risk of any new infection. This is the result of learning from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MURS) in 2015," says Chiol Kon.
Corona Vaccine Preparation
At the time the outbreak of the mars had spread, South Korea lost 36 lives.
The death of 36 people prompted this country to take quick and useful steps to deal with the infection. With this, South Korea was also bound to change its approach.
The South Korea Center for Disease Control has set up a department that is always ready to deal with any such adverse situation.
... and now that the infection of the coronavirus is causing trouble to the world, this preparation of South Korea is yielding them good results.
Prof. Conn says "I think that by identifying the initial infected people, checking them properly and then putting them in isolation can prevent mortality and also control the spread of the virus."
He also says that there is a need to learn from every old experience and to keep the system ready in advance ... it is probably the most effective way to deal with any such new outbreak.
By the beginning of February, everything was very common for the Green Cross team, but a patient was identified after that. Which is also known as Patient-31 in South Korea. This woman had no travel record, nor had she come in contact with any person who was found to be corona positive.
She was associated with the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. This religious community has close to two lakh members. This one thing gave initial information about finding the original source of this disease and its outbreak.
Laboratories in South Korea were ready for testing. However, continuous work and tiredness of the employees was definitely an issue. But now they work in shifts.
Dr. Oh speaks that now the conditions are better than before and now she is able to get a few hours of sleep after work.
There is no shortage of testing kits in South Korea. Four companies have been approved to make testing kits. This means that South Korea has the complete potential to do one hundred and forty thousand tests every week.
An epitome to the World
Pro. Con believes that the authenticity of the tests being conducted in South Korea is 98 percent.
The ability and capacity to test such a large number of people have established this country as a role model for other countries of the world. As a country that is ready to fight the coronavirus infection.
But everything is not good at all. There have also been some misconceptions.
While waiting for the hospital bed, two people died in Daegu. Initially, anyone who was found infected here was being kept for quarantine in the hospital itself.
But now doctors have understood that people in whom this infection is very less can be provided treatment at their residence too. In such a situation, people who are dangerously infected have found it easier to get a hospital bed.
According to Dr. Kim Yeon Jae of Korea National Medical Center, "We can neither quarantine nor treat everyone. Those who have very minor symptoms of infection should stay home and be treated there".
"We should change the strategy to address the result so that the death toll can be prevented from rising. As it has germinated a terrible form in Italy. In such a situation Italy should change its strategy."
Trust about preparing the vaccinePeople whose samples have been submitted are also being investigated and tests are being done on them. Scientists have devised a unique protein that can detect antibodies. In such a situation, it is expected that its vaccine will be prepared in the future.
A person named Lee (name changed) goes to check the blood every week. He used to work in Wuhan. He was there in December when the virus was detected and then it spread all over the world. He was brought back by the South Korean government and when he was investigated, it was found that he was positive.
His mother was deeply saddened by this.
He says, "Mother was usually more upset to know this but she had no need to get upset. I am 28 years old and my case was of a mild level."
Regarding his health, Lee says, "I was feeling quite right. I didn't see any signs of it. It was just a little phlegm. If I say from my experience, it's very important that you stay alert And careful too.
But I also want to say that don't panic. At least in my case, the symptoms of the virus were not very acute. But I do know the people who are older should be more careful. But for those who are young and healthy would not have to fear or panic. But it is important to take precautions. "
It is good to have the knowledge
Lockdown is nowhere in South Korea in whatever measures have been adopted to fight the coronavirus. That is, in the name of security measures, there has neither been a ban nor the roads have been banned nor the movement of people has been stopped.
South Korea has only one mantra to fight this virus - detection, testing and treatment.
This country, with a population of about five crores, is also giving even the smallest effort to fight this virus. Schools are still closed, people have been asked to work from home in offices and people have been asked not to be part of any function and event.
People's voice is gradually increasing on the streets of Seoul. Most people are seen in masks. Thermal tracing has been arranged outside every major building.
Each lift has a hand sanitiser. People have been standing everywhere, who keep on reminding people that they have to wash their hands.
This trend is gradually becoming common in South Korea. But health officials are still ready. They believe that negligence can become dangerous. If anyone in a church, office, gym or society is negligent then the consequences can be terrible.
Here is the test result of Rachel Kim.
Rachel Kim received a message the next day of her test. she is not infected with Coronavirus.
But she says "It is reassuring to know after the test. It is also a big relief because now I am not a threat to anyone else."
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