Promising improvements in Asia while Europe continues to battle COVID-19: Part 1

South Korea and China are reporting a promising drop in novel coronavirus cases, while the virus’ grip on Europe continues to grow. What lessons can the U.S. learn from these countries?
9:07 | 03/26/20

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Transcript for Promising improvements in Asia while Europe continues to battle COVID-19: Part 1
This week, the giants in south Korea, live streaming cautious first steps toward normalcy. Face masks a new part of the uniform. As deaths around the world from covid-19 surpass 20,000, all eyes are on South Korea, which appears to stand apart from the rest of the world. Last month the country had seen 909 new cases in a single day. But today South Korea is reporting only 100 new cases. This as infections in western countries soar by the thousands. It's bleeftd Korea's two-fold approach of testing and social distancing has stemmed the spread of the coronavirus. Did over 300,000 tests. And through that they were able to identify cases and look for contacts and snuff this out in an incredible way. President trump is reenfirsting his hope that the U.S. Can reopen for business by Easter. Warning that restrictions may push the economic down turn to the point of no return. I'm not going to do anything rash or hastily. I don't do that. But the country wants to get back to work. Our country was built to get back to work. We don't have a country your they say hey, let's close it down for two years. We can't do that. It's not our country. But that's a little over two weeks away. And with the number of cases dramatically rising in America, health care experts are The last thing any country needs is to open schools and businesses only to be forced to close them again because of a resurgentance. What do you make of the president's optimistic proposal to be back by Easter? It's wonderful to be optimistic that these interventions are going to work, but that doesn't line up with the epidemic models. We see the epidemic continuing to grow well into April. Now as Americans are left staring down an uncertain road we look to other countries to see what they have done to contain the spread of the virus. In South Korea, widespread testing has been the game changer. We visited a testing site in the gangnam district of Seoul. We testing 150 testing a day. And many students who come from abroad can get a free testing even though they have no symptoms. Here thousands of test kits remain available within two weeks of the country's very first case in January. South Korea has tested far more people for the coronavirus than any other country, at a per capita rate of more than 40 times the U.S. The countries that got a jump start on testing were the ones that were ultimately successful in bending the curve. But while South Korea may be the leading example of what to do right, it's not a direct comparison to the U.S. South Korea has 51 million people spread across 38,000 compare that to the sheer size of the U.S., nearly 330 million people and 3.8 million square miles. Another major part in south Korea's effort to flatten the curve, turning people's phones into a weapon of mass communication. The government sends out alerts throughout the day, information about who was tested positive in my neighborhood that's in detail, too. While hospitals in the U.S. Are scrambling for masks and other protective equipment, hospitals in South Korea are stocked thanks to action early on. And president trump asking moon jae-in to send medical equipment to the U.S. That trump sought urgent help. Hong Kong also appeared to be a success story in getting the virus under control, but then it let its guard down and cases more than doubled in the last week, most imported from overseas. American Kathleen pierce works in Hong Kong. No one is sick, but she and her family have been isolated in their apartment for more than two months. We haven't been doing much. It gets boring at times. I mainly play a lot of video games. Kathleen says the outbreak was more controlled in Hong Kong because it's but through major viral outbreaks before. My friends have experienced sars. They've lived through this before and know how long a situation like this can last. The pierces thought they could see the light at the end of the tunnel. But those who recently evacuated are returning and bringing the virus back with them. It's a rollercoaster. In the beginning there's a lot of momentum. Then you sort of lose motivation. The weeks go on. China is having a similar issue. It's imposing a 14-day quarantine on anyone coming into the country. Officials are trying to get the country back on track. In most places, people are allowed to travel, but they are given a health code, scanned before getting on a bus or shopping at a store. Yet another positive time. Official media showed workers back at the Honda factory in Wuhan, the ournl ourge epicenter. Max and his wife and baby chose not to evacuate wur Han when the outbreak began, restrictions are finally relaxing a tiny bit. As you can see, we're outside. We still can't leave the neighborhood. There's a gate over there with razor wire and stuff. Everyone has to wear masks and Still no one is allowed to leave the city or enter it, unless they have special permission like those factory We were wearing short sleeves, and when this began it was snowing. But over in Europe, the virus grip is tighter. Nor than 75,000 people have tested positive. Could you have ever imagined a crisis like this for your country in your profession? This is real, a real catastrophic events. Many people, many families has death, has people ill, some in the hospital, some in the house. Very stressful situation. The doctor works at a hospital in the hard-hit city. Ground zero in the fight in Italy. The country went into lockdown last month, but its hospitals remain overrun. He offers these words of advice to the U.S. And its health care workers. Keep covid in your home. Keep it in your home? In your home, yes. Because if you manage covid in your home, you avoid contaminating. It's very important to change your mind-set from patient center care to community-centered care. What does it look like? You have to find solutions for all the population, not for one patient. And this require a community approach. He advocates using more home care and mobile clinics to treat the mildly ill and free up the hospitals for the most severe. Doctor, I know we are just meeting on Skype, but you look tired to me. Are you okay? Yeah, I'm okay. A little bit tired, but I am this interview is a way to help other people to avoid our problem. My mistake can give you the possibility to avoid this mistake and to save lives in your country. Spain is now seeing a faster infection rate than Italy. These images posted on social media show a hospital overwhelmed. How bad will it get here? ? From what we're seeing in new York already where we're seeing accumulation of deaths it's very much look like the way Italy has been growing. The U.S. Outbreak is about a week behind Europe's. Officials here hoping they can avoid heartbreaking images like this. This is why we keep saying to every American, you have a role to protect each and every person that you interact with. We have a role to protect one another. That's why we are social distancing and are you social distancing, but to every American out there, when you are protecting yourself, you are protecting others. You can see the number of deaths that are occurring. We all have a role in preventing them.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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