Coronavirus Outbreak: Lessons from Sars, huge penalty and mass testings help Asian countries fight Covid 19

The Coronavirus outbreak has left the world helpless. Although the treatment has been scarce, Asian countries like South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan have some success stories to combat the spread of the virus.
Coronavirus Outbreak: Lessons from Sars, huge penalty and mass testings help Asian countries fight Covid 19Coronavirus Outbreak: Lessons from Sars, huge penalty and mass testings help Asian countries fight Covid 19
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Coronavirus has left the world paralyzed. The novel virus, which broke out in China, has spread its wings and has infected citizens in numerous countries. Cases across the US, the UK, and Europe, to name a few, have been reported in the past few weeks. However, the neighbouring countries of China were the first impacted by the outbreak. South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan reported cases starting January. The cure for the disease is still scarce. But The Guardian reports the four Chinese neighbours boasts of some success stories with regard to containing the Covid-19 spread.

The international outlet reports that each country has taken different measures, each suited for their country, have helped in containing the spread. South Korea, which reported the highest number of cases outside China, resorted to Covid-19 tests on their citizens. The country conducted 15,000 tests a day, free of charge. The government has also resorted to drive-through testing centres and smartphone alerts about the whereabouts of people tested positive. It has been revealed that there were 242 new cases reported on Wednesday as compared to 916 on February 28, which is a massive drop. As per a Reuters report, South Korea has 8,320 cases with death toll crossing 81. 

Singapore has taken a little stricter actions towards containing the spread. As per The Guardian, Singapore has strictly enforced the home quarantine system and an exhaustive contact-tracing programme. Following the outbreak, thousands of people have isolated themselves. Officials have carried out spot check-ins to ensure compliance. The government has imposed a fine of up to $10,000 or up to six months in prison on those who do not stay at home. 

To help self-employed workers, the government has offered $100 per day. People who cannot remain isolated at home are welcomed to stay in a government facility. As per an Al Jazeera report, Singapore reported 243 infections to date. 

Meanwhile, Hong Kong and Taiwan learned from the past. The two countries are no strangers to outbreaks. In the past, Hongkong and Taiwan tackled the Sars outbreak. Given their experience of the horrifying outbreak, Hong Kong jumped into action as soon as the news of Covid-19 in China made the news. A Forbes report reveals Hongkong reported its first case on January 23. However, they were already in their defense weeks before the case was reported. 

Hong Kong shut down schools by the end of January and encouraged citizens to practice social distancing. The Guardian notes Hong Kong had already restricted travel from mainland China soon after the first case was reported. Cafes, shops and offices are checking temperatures of patrons and handing out complimentary hand sanitisers. 

Taiwan responded to the outbreak in China as early as December 31. Deemed as the best example to the world on combating the spread, the island thoroughly investigated travellers entering Taiwan via Wuhan. Their first case was reported on January 21. The government has funded the facilitation of mask production and banned exports of the items before they eventually rationing them. They also put a penalty in place for "hoarding medical supplies, spreading misinformation, and disobeying quarantine orders," The Guardian reports. 

ALSO READ: Coronavirus: Dr Anup Dhir from Apollo Hospital answers most searched questions about COVID 19

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