2020 Coronavirus Spreads Panic Across the Globe: Effects on South Korea



With 170 reported dead and over 8,000 cases of the coronavirus in China alone, the World Health Organization has officially declared the outbreak a global emergency. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, chief of WHO, claims that the reasoning for this declaration is not solely because of what is happening in China but other countries as well, especially those with less health resources available.

The rapid spread of the virus has instilled much concern in neighboring countries such as Taiwan, Japan, Russia, and South Korea. South Korea, in particular, currently has seen 6 cases of the coronavirus, signaling the Ministry of Public Administration and Security to release an emergency alert and provide pan-governmental cooperation. The South Korean government plans to send medical supplies to Wuhan as there is an urgent need for face masks, medical masks, hazmat suits and more.

They also took action by announcing on January 28th that they will charter four flights out of Wuhan to help transport about 700 Korean citizens. In preparation for their return to the country, facilities located in Cheonan, Jincheon and Asan have been designated as temporary quarantine centers. However, residents of those cities have expressed their disapproval of this idea, and many protestors have attempted to prevent any action from being taken.

The Wuhan coronavirus has also had a negative impact on the South Korean cosmetic industry, which makes up a significant portion of the country셲 overall economy. With less and less travelers and tourists in China, which also happens to populate a good percentage of many cosmetic companies consumer base, duty-free shops have been taking a hit in sales after the Lunar New Year holidays. Other major Korean companies housed in Wuhan such as Steelmaker POSCO and SK Global Chemical have also been seeing a decline in operations as panic surrounding the virus has been on the rise.

Currently, researchers all across the globe are working quickly to create a vaccine for the coronavirus. Many countries are also actively taking measures to monitor for potential cases to prevent the virus from spreading.



Julie Kim

Asia Journal

(Los Angeles Times Advertising Supplement)