South Korea successfully held in-person elections this month without finding evidence for a single coronavirus transmission at an election station, South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) announced this week, the Epoch Times reported on Thursday.
“Twenty-nine million voters participated in the April 15 parliamentary election. … Not one [coronavirus] case related to the election has been reported during the 14 days of incubation period,” Yoon Tae-ho, MOHW’s director-general for public health policy, said at a press briefing.
Yoon thanked staff and voters who followed safety measures during elections, which included requiring voters to wear masks and gloves when casting ballots, maintaining at least a three-foot distance from one another, and regular disinfection of polling stations, according to the Epoch Times.
News of South Korea’s successful election comes as the United States faces uncertainty over how its citizens will vote in an upcoming general election this November amid the ongoing Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
American Democrats and voting rights advocacy groups support voting by mail, arguing that the method protects voters from exposure to the coronavirus at in-person polling stations. They claim that millions of Americans will be disenfranchised unless a mail-in ballot option is guaranteed. Republican lawmakers and U.S. President Donald Trump argue that the mail-in ballot method is vulnerable to voter fraud and have challenged the possible expansion of mail-in voting for the election proposed by the left.
On Thursday, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said South Korea reported no new domestic coronavirus cases for the first time since February. Although the KCDC reported four new infections in South Korea on Thursday, they were reportedly all imported cases. The four new cases brought the country’s total number of infections to 10,765 on Thursday; the number of coronavirus deaths increased by one to 247.
South Korea’s official number of new coronavirus cases has been allegedly decreasing over the past few months, with the country citing a vast testing campaign and extensive contact tracing as keys to the slowdown. In mid-March, the country reported an increase in new cases in Seoul and Daegu. This caused some to doubt South Korea’s reported slowdown in new cases overall and led to concerns about a potential rise in new cases across the country.