South Korea has probably the best Covid response in the world. What can the UK learn? | Devi Sridhar

Sumary of South Korea has probably the best Covid response in the world. What can the UK learn? | Devi Sridhar:

  • With winter approaching, it’s time to talk about the optimal Covid-19 strategy again – and for that, we need to look once more at what’s happening in South Korea.
  • That’s the question we should all be asking, and a clear vindication of the “zero Covid” approach as the optimal short-term strategy.
  • South Korea has attracted a lot of attention for following a specific “east Asian” playbook of maximum suppression: I wrote about this in March 2020, pushing countries to follow the “Seoul model”, and again in May 2020, laying out the key components of the strategy.
  • As a short-term strategy, maximum suppression helped buy time for scientists to get to work, and therefore find a sustainable exit from the crisis.
  • Once these new tools became available, the medium- to longer-term strategy evolved, too.
  • The pivot from maximum suppression to mass vaccination was a rational and logical shift to achieve a successful transition out of the pandemic.
  • Each person that wasn’t infected in 2020, thanks to these maximum suppression strategies, could live on into the phase we are now in: where vaccines and therapeutics are allowing people who catch Covid to survive, when they might otherwise have died.
  • It’s the grim worldview that underscores the infamous words Boris Johnson is alleged to have said to his staff last year: “Let the bodies pile high.

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