The April 15 general elections of South Korea to elect 300 members of the 21st National Assembly took place amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19. A nation-wide elections held during the pandemic outbreak garnered much attention, both domestically and overseas. A number of foreign media covered the country’s voting and ballot-counting scenes.
As of Thursday – 15 days after the elections – it has been reported that there have been zero cases of suspected or confirmed new infections during the process of the general elections, participated by over 29.12 million voters. Of course, some COVID-19 cases are confirmed after two weeks of the virus’ incubation period. However, it is unlikely that new cases traced to the elections will be confirmed given that symptoms usually develop about five days after exposure to the virus. Considering that there were over 10,000 cases in total and the average number of daily new cases was around 30, it is deemed to be a meaningful achievement.
“Such outcome was possible thanks to the public’s efforts to practice social distancing despite inconveniences and difficulties,” said Yoon Tae-ho, the head of the infectious disease control team of the Central Disaster Management Headquarters. “We have learned a valuable lesson that strict adherence to prevention measures can allow a safe daily life,” said Kwon Jun-wook, deputy director of the headquarters.