With infections and death tolls rising all around the globe, I started to wonder why there are a few countries that just seem to go against the steam entirely, and what they do differently from the rest of the world to battle the current coronavirus outbreak.
The countries in question are Germany and South Korea. Both have been getting infections from the very beginning of the global pandemic, and both manage to keep their death tolls extremely low. Two of the main reasons for that are mass testing and early alert isolation of cases and suspected cases.
All Good Newz wants to remind you to practice social distancing and to follow all reasonable, precautious measures concerning the new coronavirus outbreak. Flattening the curve of infections is a proven and successful way of slowing down the spread and can ensure a sustainable healthcare practice, which in turn can save lives.
As of today, Germany has a total number of 89.838 infections. The country is forth in the list of countries by total number of cases and has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak from the very beginning. Early on, tourists coming home from Italy started to spread the virus and since then, the entire country has been seeing rising numbers on a daily basis.
At the same time, the country’s death toll is, so far, a mere 1.230. This is an extremely low number, if compared to other countries, such as France, Italy, Spain or UK. How can that be?
For one thing, Germany’s leadership took the coronavirus outbreak pretty seriously from the very beginning. Early on, the government closed down restaurants, schools, sports arenas, etc. Fairly quickly a general ban on gatherings of more than two people was introduced as well. Germany has been isolating risk groups and potential hot spots rather successfully, without the need of a complete lock-down of the German society.
For another thing, Germany has been carrying out large scale testing of both sick and asymptomatic citizens. Not only does this lead to a much lower average death rate, but it also allows for identifying sick people and quickly isolating them and the people they have been in contact with. This method is referred to as stopping the virus before it can bloom. Germany is ramping up testing of its citizens constantly, and currently tests more than 50.000 people per day. Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in Germany, more than 900.000 tests have so far been conducted.
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Another crucial factor has to do with the country’s general preparedness for crises and its well developed healthcare system. Germany has, by far, the most critical care beds units per capita in Europe (actually they rank second in the world, such behind the U.S.). There are 29.2 units per 100.000 inhabitants available here, compared to Italy (12.5), France (11.6) or Spain (9.7).
And finally, a factor that is perhaps not as obvious, Germans are known for their discipline, efficiency and bureaucracy, in both a good and a bad sense. During the ongoing coronavirus outbreak though, this way of being has definitely helped the country immensely. And both citizens and the government (pro)actively work together to overcome this challenge. Which is another strength, for sure!
South Korea is another example of a country that absolutely rocks during the coronavirus crisis. Right now, the country has reported a total number of 10.062 cases and, get ready, a mere 174 deaths! Since March 14th, they only had roughly 2.000 new cases and since that date, their total number of cases is actually going down, rather than up, which is the case in most other countries right now. How on earth did they manage to do that?
Well, South Korea is an Asian country that is sued to virus outbreaks. They definitely had their fair share of them. The country had to deal with a rather serious MERS outbreak back in 2015. That experience has probably helped the government to bring forth extremely rapid and restrictive measures during such a crisis. And they do help!
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Very early on, South Korea responded to the then just starting coronavirus outbreak with a widespread and fast orders for quarantine for anyone that tested positive for Covid-19 and all of those these cases had been in contact with. Much like Germany, they started to test on a massive scale ealry on, which led to early detection and many quarantines all over the country. This measure alone led to a stark decrease in new cases and managed to slow down the spread of the virus.
Another factor are masks! South Koreans are masters of wearing face masks and social distancing! It seems to be a part of their culture almost, and it definitely helps them to stay safe and healthy. In fact, the country never had to shut down its society completely, mainly because of these measures and their citizens strict discipline and awareness! To this day, factories, restaurants, malls and schools have stayed open in South Korea.
Other countries should follow suit
These two countries must serve others around the globe as shining examples of how to manage the coronavirus outbreak and prevent further infections and deaths. We can all learn from Germany and South Korea and should express our respect and gratitude for their excellent leadership and crisis management. All Good Newz thanks these countries for, hopefully, showing us the way out of this crisis.