March 06, 2020 13:03
Some 108 coronavirus patients had made a full recovery in Korea as of Friday morning, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
That brings the recovery rate here to a mere 1.5 percent, far lower than China's declared 65 percent, Iran's 19 percent and Italy's nine percent, as well as the worldwide average outside China of 8.7 percent.
But the low recovery rate is mainly due to the outbreak becoming virulent only fairly recently. In a press briefing on Wednesday, KCDC chief Jung Eun-kyeong said, "In China, the number of patients being discharged from hospitals is increasing fast because infections started to snowball much earlier."
Here it has taken patients more than two weeks to be declared fully cured, but more than 100 new cases have occurred each day since Feb. 20.
Prof. Lee Jae-gap of Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital said, "It seems that people in Iran and Italy have tested positive long after they became infected so they recovered faster."
The recovery rate here is also expected to accelerate. The KCDC has decided to lift the quarantine for any patient, who has been in treatment for three weeks and shown no symptoms.
Experts believe that 80 percent of coronavirus patients recover naturally in about two weeks without serious symptoms. "There are sufficient supplies of drugs to treat patients with severe cases in the country," Lee said. "We're now allowed to use Remdesivir, a drug for the treatment of Ebola, so we don't have to worry about a shortage."
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