Coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Korea - Statistics & Facts

South Korea has 9,887 coronavirus (COVID-19) infections as of April 1 and is 14th in the world by the number of infections. Coronavirus in South Korea began on January 23rd with a tourist from China. The number slowly increased for about a month and then began to increase exponentially from the 31st patient who is known as a super propagator. In Korea, where the population density and social contact is high, group infection was initiated quickly and the number of new cases per day peaked on February 29, with 909 cases.

Due to the government’s quick response, more than 357 thousand tests have been conducted until now. After it was revealed that the 31st patient was in the Shincheonji Church and the mass infection of Shincheonji followers increased uncontrollably, the Korean government announced that it would test over 200 thousand Shincheonji followers. At the moment, Shincheonji-related infections account for around 53 percent of the total number of infections. The number of daily new cases has fallen in recent weeks, but small group infections continue to spread across the country and the number of cases imported from abroad is also increasing. Cluster infections have occurred mainly in medical facilities, social welfare facilities, and religious facilities, and recently, it has been steadily occurring in a few call centers in Seoul and the neighboring regions.

Infected patients were largely men in the early stages, but now the proportion of women with the virus exceeds 60 percent. Furthermore, the infection rate was highest among people in their 20s, followed by those in their 50s, 40s, and 60s respectively. As the infection rate among teens or younger increased, the opening of schools in South Korea, usually beginning in March, was postponed for the third time until early April. As for the regional distribution of those infected, the proportion in Daegu, which is the hometown of Sincheonji and neighboring Gyeongbuk, still accounts for more than 80 percent. To date, most people who have died had diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Nonetheless, the situation is improving. Golden Cross has been maintained since mid-March, with the number of recovered cases exceeding new infections. Also, the rapid test progress, such as the drive-thru test method and the transparent disclosure of information by the government, led to the Korean coronavirus response method becoming a good practice model around the world. In addition, donations from businesses and celebrities continues, and citizens are actively responding to the virus on their own by practicing voluntary self-isolation, social distancing, and by wearing a mask. According to the survey, most of the people started to wear masks after the coronavirus outbreak and 74 percent of them were expecting the situation to stabilize in the next month.

For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Korea

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