Objectives: On March 15, 2020, 61.3% of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in South Korea are associated with the worship service that was organized on February 9 in the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu. We aim to evaluate the effects of mass infection in South Korea and assess the preventive control intervention.
Method: Using openly available data of daily cumulative confirmed cases and deaths, the basic and effective reproduction numbers was estimated using a modified susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered-type epidemic model.
Results: The basic reproduction number was estimated to be R0=1.77. The effective reproduction number increased approximately 20 times after the mass infections from the 31 st patient, which was confirmed on February 9 in the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, Daegu. However, the effective reproduction number decreased to less than unity after February 28 owing to the implementation of high-level preventive control interventions in South Korea, coupled with voluntary prevention actions by citizens.
Conclusion: Preventive action and control intervention were successfully established in South Korea.
Keywords: 2019 novel coronavirus disease; Effective reproduction number; Epidemic model; SARS-CoV-2.
Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.