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South Korean Jobseekers Take Written Exam In Football Stadium To Avoid Coronavirus

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South Korean Jobseekers Take Written Exam In Football Stadium To Avoid Coronavirus

Jobseekers in South Korea have been taking written exams outside in a football stadium to try to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Seats were placed a safe distance apart from each other. Credit: Yonhap
Seats were placed a safe distance apart from each other. Credit: Yonhap

Applicants took the exam on Saturday in Ansan, south of Seoul, and were seen observing social distancing rules, with their seats safely spaced apart from one another.

The test was part of the recruitment process at the Ansan Urban Corp, with the company deciding the measures were necessary to stop Covid-19 from spreading in the country.

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Credit: Yonhap
Credit: Yonhap

South Korea, which came up with the mantra 'trace, test and treat, is among the countries that have successully managed to 'flatten the curve'.

Thanks to its rigourous testing and early implementation of social distancing measures it has had a relatively minimal number of serious cases, with 183 deaths at the time of writing, and just upwards of 10,000 cases.

The country's Centres for Disease Control set up a special department to prepare the country, after Middle East Respiratory syndrome broke out five years ago. The South Koreans designed and created a test, then set up a network of labs right across the country, which were all operational within 17 days.

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A drive thru test service in South Korea. Credit: PA
A drive thru test service in South Korea. Credit: PA

Speaking to the BBC, Professor Gye Cheol Kwon, the chairman of the Laboratory Medicine Foundation, said: "We learned the risk of new infection and its ramifications from the experience of the Middle East Respiratory syndrome (Mers) back in 2015.

"I think that early patient detection with accurate tests followed by isolation can lower the mortality rate and prevent the virus from spreading. To learn from the past and prepare systems in advance... that might be the true power to overcome this new kind of disaster."

Despite this, the country has not imposed a 'lockdown'.

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As reported by sciencemag.org, Kim Woo-Joo, an infectious disease specialist at Korea University, said: "South Korea is a democratic republic, we feel a lockdown is not a reasonable choice."

A passenger from Europe receives a test at an Open Walk-Through checkpoint in a South Korean airport. Credit: PA
A passenger from Europe receives a test at an Open Walk-Through checkpoint in a South Korean airport. Credit: PA

Raina MacIntyre, an emerging infectious disease scholar at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, believes that 'diagnostic capacity at scale is key to epidemic control'.

She told the news outlet: "Contact tracing is also very influential in epidemic control, as is case isolation."

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Meanwhile, in the UK, a lack of reliable tests and personal protective equipment for NHS staff is among the factors blamed for the spread.

As of 1 April, just 2000 NHS workers had been tested, with reports emerge of staff wearing 'bin bags' for protection while treating coronavirus patients.

Featured Image Credit: Yonhap

Topics: World News, Coronavirus

Amelia Ward
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