Policy disparities in response to COVID-19 between China and South Korea

Haiqian Chen, Leiyu Shi, Yuyao Zhang, Xiaohan Wang, Gang Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study analyzed the effects of COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical measures between China and South Korea to share experiences with other countries in the struggle against SARS-CoV-2. Methods: We used the generalized linear model to examine the associations between non-pharmaceutical measures adopted by China and South Korea and the number of confirmed cases. Policy disparities were also discussed between these two countries. Results: The results show that the following factors influence the number of confirmed cases in China: lockdown of Wuhan city (LWC); establishment of a Leading Group by the Central Government; raising the public health emergency response to the highest level in all localities; classifying management of "four categories of personnel"; makeshift hospitals in operation (MHIO); pairing assistance (PA); launching massive community screening (LMCS). In South Korea, these following factors were the key influencing factors of the cumulative confirmed cases: raising the public alert level to orange (three out of four levels); raising the public alert to the highest level; launching drive-through screening centers (LDSC); screening all members of Shincheonji religious group; launching Community Treatment Center (LCTC); distributing public face masks nationwide and quarantining all travelers from overseas countries for 14 days. Conclusion: Based on the analysis of the generalized linear model, we found that a series of non-pharmaceutical measures were associated with contain of the COVID-19 outbreak in China and South Korea. The following measures were crucial for both of them to fight against the COVID-19 epidemic: a strong national response system, expanding diagnostic tests, establishing makeshift hospitals, and quarantine or lockdown affected areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-252
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Global Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Non-pharmaceutical measures
  • Quarantine or lockdown

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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