Korean J Intern Med.  2020 Nov;35(6):1270-1278. 10.3904/kjim.2020.222.

What should we prepare for the next coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak? A survey on the opinions of infectious diseases specialists in South Korea

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea
  • 4Department of Infectious Diseases, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea
  • 5Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Kangwon National University Hospital, Chuncheon, Korea
  • 6Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea
  • 7Division of Infectious Diseases, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


This study aimed to collect information on the opinions of Korean infectious disease (ID) experts on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and related issues in preparation for a future outbreak.
A survey was conducted over the course of 5 days (from April 21 to 25, 2020), targeting all adult ID specialists currently in the medical field in South Korea (n = 265). An online-based survey was forwarded via text message and e-mail. Only one response was accepted from each participant.
Of these 265 ID specialists gotten to, 132 (49.8%) responded. The highest proportion of the respondents envisaged the current COVID-19 outbreak to end after December 2020 (47.7% for the domestic Korean outbreak and 70.5% for the global pandemic); moreover, 60.7% of them stated that a second nationwide wave is likely to occur between September and December 2020 in South Korea. N95 respirators were considered to be the most important item in hospitals in preparation for a second wave. The most important policy to be implemented at the national level was securing national hospitals designated for the treatment of ID (67.4%).
ID experts in South Korea believe that the COVID-19 pandemic may not be easily controlled and that a second nationwide wave is likely to occur in South Korea. Our results indicate that Korean ID specialists believe that a high level of preparation is needed in various aspects, including the procurement of personal protective equipment, to respond efficiently to a second outbreak.


COVID-19; Communicable diseases; Korea
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