With global COVID-19 fatality rate of 4%, how did South Korea, Germany manage to keep rates below 1%?

South Korea's Covid-19 fatality rate stands at 0.99% and Germany's at 0.26%, as against Italy and Iran with fatality rates of 7.94% and 6.11%, respectively

As on Wednesday, the total number of Covid-19 cases reported from around the world reached around 200,000 along with nearly 8,000 fatalities, resulting in fatality rate of 3.96 percent. Some hard-hit countries, such as Italy and Iran have recorded fatality rates of 7.94 percent and 6.11 percent, respectively.

At the face of the global pandemic, certain countries have emerged as success stories, bringing down the number of cases and fatality rates, significantly.

South Korea

South Korea's Moon Jae-in sworn in

As on Wednesday, South Korea has reported 8,413 coronavirus cases, along with 84 fatalities, thus recording fatality rate of 0.99 percent. After a sudden spurt in the number of cases, chiefly linked to Daegu's Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the east Asian nation took drastic measures to curb the outbreak.

In contrast to the Chinese model of widespread travel restrictions and placing several cities into complete lockdown, South Korea adopted the strategy of testing and isolating. The number of tests per million in South Korea, stands at 5,200, as opposed to 74 in the United States. As a matter of fact, even at the height of the disease outbreak in its worst affected city Daegu, the city wasn't placed under any restriction.

South Korea's comparatively young population demographic also played a role in this. The country has a median age of 41.8, while the disease generally results in fatality among the old and in those with underlying health issues.

Also, the MERS outbreak in 2015, that infected 186 and killed 36, led to quarantine of 17,000; before the disease was completely dealt with. This experience helped South Korea in dealing with the present crisis.



As on Wednesday, Germany has reported 9,877 coronavirus cases, along with 26 fatalities, thus recording fatality rate of 0.26 percent. According to Christian Drosten, a German virologist, there are two reasons behind Germany's success.

First, the country picked up the disease, early on. And second, Germany's diagnostic infrastructure. Since January, when the disease outbreak started picking up, the country started testing, with almost all labs well-equipped in testing coronavirus cases.

"Our laboratories are technically very well equipped, our regulations for the introduction of new test procedures are very flexible and our statutory health insurance association already introduced a code for these tests in January, which means that (insurers) are financially supported", said Drosten.

Related topics : Coronavirus