Evaluation of COVID-19 epidemic outbreak caused by temporal contact-increase in South Korea

Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Jul:96:454-457. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.05.036. Epub 2020 May 14.


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.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Basic Reproduction Number
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • SARS-CoV-2