SEOUL, March 28 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea said Saturday it has achieved a 50 percent cure rate for people infected with coronavirus, a feat that underscored the importance of aggressive tests, quarantines and social distancing in the fight against the virus.
South Korea had released 4,811 fully recovered COVID-19 patients from hospitals as of Saturday, up 283 from a day earlier, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It marked the first time the number of cured people has exceeded the number of quarantined patients — which stood at 4,523 — since Jan. 20, when the virus was first detected on South Korean soil.
“The 50 percent cure rate is a small achievement that all in our society should celebrate, though we have a long way to go,” Yoon Tae-ho, director-general for public health policy at the Ministry of Health and Welfare, said in a briefing.
Yoon, who is in charge of anti-infection efforts at the country’s disaster control headquarters, attributed the achievement to aggressive tests, epidemiological surveillance and social distancing, as well as medical treatment of patients by doctors and nurses.
South Korea has strengthened social distancing through April 5 to contain the spread of the virus that has killed 144 people, mostly in the country’s southeastern city of Daegu and neighboring North Gyeongsang Province.
Yoon also warned against complacency in dealing with the coronavirus and asked people to practice strengthened social distancing, saying it is time to clearly reduce cluster infections in local community and facilities housing many people.