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You, J. (2020). Lessons from South Korea’s Covid-19 policy response

Bibliographic details:

You, J. (2020). Lessons from South Korea’s Covid-19 policy response. The American Review of Public Administration50(6-7), 801-808. 



In responding to the Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, some government policies have been more effective in containing, suppressing, and mitigating the disease than others. Government leaders and public administrators can learn from other countries and adapt these lessons to their crisis management and public health systems. South Korea has emerged as a model to emulate in fighting the pandemic. While South Korea endured devastating early outbreaks, the country flattened the coronavirus curve without paralyzing the national health and economic systems. The author reviews South Korea’s public health policy approaches and the embedded context, by using documents and materials written in Korean and English, to learn how the country managed coronavirus from January through April 2020. The critical factors in South Korea’s public health administration and management that led to success include national infectious disease plans, collaboration with the private sector, stringent contact tracing, an adaptive health care system, and government-driven communication. This article also proposes some key aspects to be considered to transfer lessons from country-level responses in South Korea to other contexts.