- Taiwan, South Korea, and New Zealand celebrate overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Taiwan and New Zealand reported no new cases, and South Korea reported new cases only from foreigners traveling into the country.
- Highly optimistic data from the three countries can be used as blueprint for recovery in other countries.
South Korea is ending social distancing, New Zealand reported zero new coronavirus cases for two consecutive days, and Taiwan’s total cases remain at 438. These three countries are confident that they are defeating the virus and is showing highly optimistic data for the rest of the world.
Here’s what New Zealand, Taiwan and South Korea did differently since the beginning, and how other countries could overcome coronavirus in the near-term.
Hard and early, eliminate new coronavirus cases and aggressively test
All three countries took strict, proactive measures to slow down the spread of coronavirus.
New Zealand residents were told to enter self-isolation for two full weeks when the country merely had 102 cases.
At the time, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said:
We only have 102 cases, but so did Italy once.
Similarly, when South Korea found that the metropolitan city of Daegu showed signs of mass infections, the city was locked down and everyone within the area was asked to isolate themselves.
After the early lockdowns came the tests. South Korea used drive-thru testing points to test as many people as possible within a short period of time.
New Zealand ran more than 32,000 tests per 1 million people, exceeding the testing capacity of the U.S. on paper.
With large-scale testing deployed and early self-isolation complete, the final measure that reduced the spread of coronavirus was the use of masks.
Both surgical and N-95 masks cannot stop coronavirus particles from entering the human body. The particles are too small and spreads easily from person to person.