Are we seeing a second wave of coronavirus infections in South Korea and China?

First published in August 2020.

While countries like South Korea and China have been praised for reducing cases of COVID-19, a continued increase in daily case counts shows how the threat of new outbreaks looms even after flattening the curve.

South Korea had already called these new outbreaks a “second wave” of infections in June. Yet, daily new cases have grown to even higher levels. On Sunday and Tuesday, the country recorded 279 and 248 new daily cases, respectively – the most since early March. China experienced a similar spike in late July, recording upwards of 200 new cases a day.

Both China and South Korea had reduced domestic cases to zero or close to zero for a while and recorded only a few imported cases. After COVID-19 broke out in China at the end of 2019, the country finally began flattening the curve in February.

Even better, South Korea has been heralded as the leading example for quickly testing for and isolating cases of COVID-19.

Still, these cases being recorded now in both countries are only a sliver of daily case counts in the U.S. and other countries, but even modest increases show how the threat of a new major outbreak may be just weeks or days away if social distancing and testing measures are loosened.

South Korea and China have both re-implemented some COVID-19 restrictions due to these developments.

Daily new cases of COVID-19 in China and South Korea between March and August 2020. / Statista

[This piece was first published in Statista & written by Willem Roper, Editor at Statista.]

(Cover: Screenshot of Wuhan, China, from CGTN.)

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