Innovative screening tests for COVID-19 in South Korea

Clin Exp Emerg Med. 2020 Jun;7(2):73-77. doi: 10.15441/ceem.20.032. Epub 2020 Apr 16.


Recently, the number of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases has increased remarkably in South Korea, so the triage clinics and emergency departments (ED) are expected to be overcrowded with patients with presumed infection. As of March 21st, there was a total of 8,799 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 102 related deaths in South Korea that was one of the top countries with high incidence rates [1]. This sharp increase in infection is associated with 1) outbreaks in individual provinces, 2) deployment of rapid and aggressive screening tests, 3) dedicated healthcare staffs for virus screening tests, 4) quarantine inspection data transparency and accurate data reporting, and 5) public health lessons from previous Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreaks. This commentary introduces innovative screening tests that are currently used in South Korea for COVID-19, e.g., Drive-Through and Walk-Through tests, and compare the advantages and disadvantages of both methods.

Keywords: COVID-19 diagnostic testing; Early Detection of Disease; Infectious Disease Outbreak; Virus Diseases.