South Korea, which has been praised by different countries for its early actions against the spread of COVID-19, and the rapid testing of its citizens is now facing its biggest challenge with the virus spread.

According to an Associated Press report, the number of cases in South Korea have now reached three digits in ten consecutive days.  

Global financial services holding company, JP Morgan, predicts around 1,000 cases a day in Korea until the end of August, Arirang News reported. 

The global company also predicts that around 7,000 new cases will be reported and it will sometime this August. 

However, the increase in the number of cases will subside some time in November, the report said. 

As the cases surge for the past few weeks, the country also began implementing a mask mandate on its citizens. 

Korea’s Early Success Story Against COVID-19

In April, the Republic of Korea started reporting one-digit numbers to zero cases of local COVID-19 transmission in the country. 

According to Stephan Klingebiel, UNDP’s Director based in Seoul, Korea was able to curb its coronavirus situation to three factors, effective COVID-19 measures, testing, and citizen’s self-discipline. 

In addition to these three, the use of technology in information dissemination, and contact tracing also became a factor in lessening Korea’s COVID-19 infections. 

“Voluntary” cooperation by an informed masses has been a significant attribute of South Korea’s response, Director-General of the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul, Jerome Kim said, as per the Guardian

It is worth noting that in the case of South Korea they did not impose any extreme lockdown in the country, unlike some countries in Europe and the US. 

According to Klingebiel, a lot of people voluntarily stayed at home despite the lack of official mandate.

Many people going outside also wore masks voluntarily. 

The government also prioritized science in decision making.

South Korea curbed the virus via a “decisive and transparent leadership” that is based on “data, not on emotion,” Kim said. 

Infection Spike Connected To Church?

According to AP, South Korea’s COVID-19 cases have been constantly linked to Christian churches. 

The new cases increased after thousands of Sarang Jeil Church members, along with its pastor, Jun Kwang-Hun marched to Seoul to protest against the government, AP said. 

Hundreds of people from the church also refused to be tested, local reports said.

As a result, Seoul’s health ministry decided to file a report against Sarang-Jeil’s pastor. 

Its members, however, accuse the government of using them as scapegoats.

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