South Korean authorities on March 25 reportedly said that they were looking at whether the country has sufficient stock of coronavirus test kits to expand exports to the United States after President Donald Trump made a request for help. As per reports, South Korea has the ability to conduct as many as 20,000 tests per day and the country has also seen a downward trend in new cases. On the other hand, US has been criticised for the lack of test kits and the coronavirus cases in the country have been increasing rapidly.
According to an international media report, Trump made a telephone call to South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Trump made the request for help after which Moon said that Seoul would provide as much as support as possible if there was spare equipment. Jeong Sun-kyeong, who is the chief of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a media outlet that the country currently has secured enough volume and stocks of the test kits for domestic use, however, he added that the authorities still have to check further on the availability for the use of exports.
After a big early outbreak, South Korea rolled out widespread testing within days after which the country saw slowing of the spread of the deadly disease. As per reports, March 24 marked the 13th day in a row that South Korea reported 100 or less new infections. It also reported the lowest number of cases on March 23 after the virus peaked on February 29 with 909 new infections that day.
While, on the other hand, the US has more than 54,000 confirmed cases and the deadly virus has claimed nearly 784 lives in the country. The World Health Organisation also said on March 25 that the United States has the potential to become the new epicentre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak due to a ‘very large acceleration in infections’ in the country. WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris has told the reporters that over the past 24 hours, 85 per cent of the new cases worldwide were from Europe and the US and out of those, at least 40 per cent were just from the US.
Another WHO official has said that in order to combat the deadly coronavirus outbreak, just lockdowns are ‘not enough’. This comes as the fatal virus has now spread to over 190 countries and the global infection count has crossed 4,22,000, which has prompted major cities to go under lockdown. The leaders have viewed social distancing as the most effective way to tackle the pandemic. However, Dr Mike Ryan said that countries should instead focus on “finding who is sick” and then ‘isolate them’.