The importance of early testing: a comparison of the US and South Korea

27 May 2020 (Last Updated May 27th, 2020 16:17)

The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) global pandemic has been reported in 190 countries, with 5.5 million confirmed cases worldwide. The US remains the most heavily affected country, with 1.7 million total confirmed cases. In comparison, South Korea is now thought to be in the recovery phase of this disease with 11,000 total confirmed cases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the importance of diagnostic testing in suppressing the transmission of Covid-19 early on in the pandemic. Even though the US has now performed 40 Covid-19 tests per 1,000 population compared to South Korea’s 15 Covid-19 tests per 1,000 population, it is the timing of these tests that has proved vital in slowing the transmission of this disease.

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