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in South Korea, exceptional mobilization is bearing fruit

STORY – Technology, large-scale testing, transparency, and citizen engagement are the ingredients of the country’s proactive strategy to stem the epidemic.

Masked agents in protective suits disinfect a Seoul subway station on March 13.
Masked agents in protective suits disinfect a Seoul subway station on March 13. JUNG YEON-JE / AFP

Smartphones vibrate in unison in the cockpit of the whirlwind bus, and immediately the eyes as a loophole protruding from the masks dive towards the screens. A new patient has just been tested positive for coronavirus in the upscale district of Hannam-dong, nestled in the heart of Seoul, announced a notification from the municipality on March 12. Like a single man, everyone is anxious to consult the patient’s detailed itinerary for fear of having crossed paths in recent days.

This 35-year-old Pole returned from a trip to Europe, took the fast train connecting the international airport to the South Korean capital on March 10 at around 9:30 a.m., before going to the convenience store and going rest in the afternoon at home, reveal the data published by the health authorities. At around 6 p.m. the man went to dine at the Pizzeria in Buzza before going to the nearby supermarket an hour later. “I’m a little scared because I went to a cafe across the street at the time”, explains Sohyun,

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