National Disaster Management System: COVID-19 Case in Korea

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Sep 14;17(18):6691. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17186691.


The COVID-19 pandemic poses unprecedented challenges for governments and societies around the world and represents a global crisis of hitherto unexperienced proportions. Our research seeks to analyse disaster management systems from a national perspective by examining the Korean management of the COVID-19 crisis according to a four-phase epidemiological disaster management system. Utilising a meta-study, official documents, reports and interviews, we explore the role of the control tower mechanism related to the life-cycle of disaster management, and Korea's sustainable containment strategy. This study begins with a discussion of the crisis and disaster management literature and provides specific information related to the Korean government's response to COVID-19. It continues by detailing specific strategies such as wide-spread testing, tracking, treatment and quarantine that have enabled Korea to prevent wide-spread community transmission. The study concludes emphasising the relevance of systematic national disaster management, providing insight into methods for containment in Korea - a system commended by the WHO. Implications include the extension and the efficient application of disaster management theory by empirical application and integration of concepts.

Keywords: COVID-19; disaster management; disease; national control tower; pandemic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Communicable Disease Control / methods
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Disaster Planning / organization & administration*
  • Disasters*
  • Federal Government
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control
  • Republic of Korea
  • SARS-CoV-2