Flattening the curve: How China, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore brought Coronavirus under control

  • While Coronavirus is spreading rapidly across the world, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore have now controlled the deadly disease.
  • Lockdown, extensive testing and tracing helped these countries to flatten the curve.
  • South Korea focused on testing, tracing contacts and quarantining suspected cases.
The Coronavirus pandemic is running amok across the world right now, dealing a disastrous blow to countries with some of the best healthcare facilities in the world. While the West hasn’t been able to deal properly with the Coronavirus pandemic so far, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore have shown the world how to tame this highly infectious disease.

China bungled initially, but quickly adapted and improvised

While China bungled up initially, it quickly adapted and improvised its response to Coronavirus. While its response seemed draconian initially, in retrospect it was likely the only way left for the country.

Here’s what China did to control Coronavirus:

  • Establishing a no-travel zone and banning people from entering or leaving this zone, restricting the spread of infection to other areas.
  • Shutting down schools and workplaces, leading to a drastic decline in new infections after January 26.
  • Making Coronavirus testing free and easily accessible.
  • Large-scale contact tracing of people who may have met Coronavirus patients.
  • Setting up temporary hospitals and bringing in 40,000 medical workers from other provinces.
  • Home-delivery of food and groceries to 15 million people.
As of March 27, the total Coronavirus cases in China stand at 81,340 and total deaths at 3,292.

Taiwan was amongst the first to identify the disease

Taiwan was amongst the first countries to identify and alert the World Health Organization about the possibility of a deadly new pandemic, eventually identified as COVID-19. Despite its close proximity to China, Taiwan has been one of the most successful countries in dealing with the disease.


Here’s what Taiwan did to control Coronavirus:

  • Moving early to ban flights from China.
  • Using big data and repeat testing to identify infected people.
  • Making Coronavirus testing free and easily accessible.
  • Widespread awareness programs on radio and television.
  • Universal access to healthcare, allowing people to get treated without incurring any costs.
As of March 27, the total Coronavirus cases in China stand at 267 and total deaths at 2.

South Korea used aggressive testing and tech to control the outbreak

South Korea’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic was a mix of multiple measures without shutting down the country.

Here’s what South Korea did to control Coronavirus:

  • Developing tests for Coronavirus even before there were a significant number of cases.
  • Testing more than 20,000 people per day – more than any other country per capita.
  • Contact tracing and quarantining people who may have been exposed to confirmed cases.
  • Awareness campaigns asking people to wear a mask at all times.
  • Launching a GPS-enabled app to monitor people under quarantine.
As of March 27, the total Coronavirus cases in South Korea stand at 9,332 and total deaths at 139.

Singapore combed out confirmed cases without shutting down the country


Singapore moved its government machinery and police workforce to single-mindedly focus on controlling the Coronavirus outbreak.

Here’s what Singapore did to control Coronavirus:

  • Banning flights from China in January itself.
  • Banning entry of people for business and tourism, all others subject to forced quarantine.
  • Aggressive contact tracing and quarantining confirmed cases using its police force.
  • Sharing information of confirmed cases via billboards, TV and social media ads.
  • Widespread awareness programs promoting social distancing.
As of March 27, the total Coronavirus cases in South Korea stand at 683 and total deaths at 2.


See also:

Boris Johnson is self-isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus

A look at Indian government response to coronavirus, so far, shows some quick reactions but not enough foresight

Coronavirus cases in Telangana