Today (30 April), South Korea reported no new domestic COVID-19 cases for the first time since February.
According to the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), the nation recorded four new cases and all were imported cases. The total confirmed cases was brought up to 10,765. One death was recorded, bringing the death toll to 247 cases.
KCDC stated that out of the total number of cases, 1,065 were imported cases, where more than 90 per cent were Koreans.
Since South Korea had carried out an election on 15 April, many had questioned if it had led any additional outbreaks among the voters. The health authorities concluded that there was no local transmission from the parliamentary election.
As reported on South China Morning Post, authorities took precautionary measures which also included requiring voters to wear masks and plastic gloves when casting ballots.
On a briefing, the director-general for public health policy, Yoon Tae-ho, announced that there were no reports of cases related to the election within the 14-day incubation period.
“Twenty-nine million voters participated in the April 15 parliamentary election … Not one case related to the election has been reported during the 14 days of incubation period.”
Mr Yoon expressed gratitude towards the staff and voters who disinfected polling stations across the country and maintained the safe distance of one metre between each other.
According to Channel News Asia, there were around 14,000 polling stations in South Korea, and the voters were required to wear face masks and plastic gloves, as well as having their temperatures checked. They were also supposed to use hand sanitiser to maintain their personal hygiene.
The voters with fevers were allocated separate voting booths to cast their ballots, and these booths were disinfected after each use.
“Reinfected” patients in South Korea
On the other hand, a clinical expert concluded that the patients who recovered from COVID-19 and later tested positive for the coronavirus again were not “reactivated” or reinfected.
The expert said the test results were false positive.
The head of the committee explained that the false-positive results were caused by technical limits of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing. A total of 292 such cases were reported in that country.