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Article

Keeping Low Reproductive Number Despite the Rebound Population Mobility in Korea, a Country Never under Lockdown during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1
Department of Mathematics, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea
2
Department of Pediatrics, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul 06351, Korea
3
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul 06351, Korea
4
INSERM, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health, Sorbonne Université, 75646 Paris, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9551; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249551
Received: 23 November 2020 / Revised: 11 December 2020 / Accepted: 17 December 2020 / Published: 20 December 2020
Nonpharmaceutical intervention has been one of the most important strategies to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 in the communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Korea has a unique experience that we had the first large outbreak during the early pandemic and could flatten the epidemic curve without lockdown. In this study, the effective reproductive numbers were calculated for the entire nation and Seoul (the capital city) Metropolitan Area from February 16–15 July, where 60% of the population reside. We compared the changes in population mobility data and reproductive number trends according to the changes in the government’s nonpharmaceutical intervention strategy. The total daily mobility decreased when Korea had the first wave of a large outbreak in February–March 2020, which was mainly caused by the decrease of daily noncommuting mobility. However, daily commuting mobility from 16 February to 30 June 2020 was maintained at a similar level since there was no national lockdown for workers who commute between home and work. During the first half-year of 2020, Korea could control the outbreak to a manageable level without a significant decrease in daily public mobility. However, it may be only possible when the public follows personal hygiene principles and social distancing without crisis fatigue or reduced compliance. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; mathematical modeling; reproductive number; population mobility; lockdown; Republic of Korea COVID-19; mathematical modeling; reproductive number; population mobility; lockdown; Republic of Korea
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, S.; Kim, Y.-J.; Peck, K.R.; Ko, Y.; Lee, J.; Jung, E. Keeping Low Reproductive Number Despite the Rebound Population Mobility in Korea, a Country Never under Lockdown during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 9551. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249551

AMA Style

Kim S, Kim Y-J, Peck KR, Ko Y, Lee J, Jung E. Keeping Low Reproductive Number Despite the Rebound Population Mobility in Korea, a Country Never under Lockdown during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(24):9551. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249551

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kim, Soyoung, Yae-Jean Kim, Kyong R. Peck, Youngsuk Ko, Jonggul Lee, and Eunok Jung. 2020. "Keeping Low Reproductive Number Despite the Rebound Population Mobility in Korea, a Country Never under Lockdown during the COVID-19 Pandemic" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 24: 9551. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249551

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