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In Depth: Why South Korea is winning the coronavirus battle

While the US and others struggle, Seoul's fast response keeps COVID-19 at bay

A couple in Korean traditional costumes visits Gyeongbok Palace in central Seoul on March 1.   © Reuters

South Korea's novel coronavirus outbreak once looked grim, with new cases skyrocketing daily and a massive cluster of infections, making it the worst-hit country outside China.

The disease suddenly exploded in South Korea on Feb. 18. The caseload multiplied 180-fold in two weeks, with daily cases topping 909 on Feb. 29. But the troubling trend quickly reversed. From March 6, South Korea began reporting declining numbers of new cases, with daily increases dropping to the dozens. As of Monday, South Korea had recorded 9,786 infections.

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