Estimation of the excess covid-19 cases in Seoul, South Korea by the students arriving from China

Sukhyun Ryu, Sheikh Taslim Ali, Jun Sik Lim, Byung Chul Chun

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: In March 2020, overall, 37,000 international students from China, a country at risk of the 2019-novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection has arrived in Seoul, South Korea. Individuals from the country at risk of COVID-19 infection have been included in the Korean home-quarantine program, but the efficacy of the program is uncertain. Methods: To estimate the possible number of infected individuals within the large influx of international students from China, we used a deterministic compartmental model for epidemic and performed a simulation-based search of different rates of compliance with home-quarantine. Results: Under the home-quarantine program, the number of the infected individuals would reach 40–72 from 12 March–24 March with the arrival of 0.2% of pre-infectious individuals. Furthermore, the number of isolated individuals would peak at 40–64 from 13 March–27 March in Seoul, South Korea. Our findings indicated when incoming international students showed strict compliance with quarantine, epidemics by the international student from China were less likely to occur in Seoul, South Korea. Conclusions: To mitigate possible epidemics, additional efforts to improve the compliance of home-quarantine of the individuals from countries with the virus risk are warranted along with other containment policies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3113
    JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Acknowledgments: SR reports a past research grant from Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea by the Ministry of Education (grant number NRF-2018R1A6A3A03012236) and Mogam Science Scholarship Foundation.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


    • COVID-19
    • Compliance
    • Coronavirus
    • Korea
    • Quarantine
    • Simulation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pollution
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
    • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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