The Begin-Sadat Strategic Research Center (BESA), an Israeli think tank, has praised Korea as a model country in coping with the spread of the new coronavirus.
“Western healthcare centers are turning to Asian governments as examples of forceful measures of containment. A prominent example is South Korea,” the research center said in an article posted on its website on April 6 (local time). “The coronavirus outbreak has led to an improvement in South Korea’s global image.”
The research center noted that South Korea reduced its number of confirmed coronavirus cases in early February 2020 just as case figures were dramatically escalating around the world. Korea has tested more than 250,000 people at 600 testing sites nationwide and sent test results to citizens by text within six hours, it said.
It also pointed out that Korean citizens played an essential role in containing the coronavirus by practicing “voluntary passive social isolation.” Even before the government coordinated its message on social distancing, the people of South Korea embraced the need to close businesses even if that measure would incur personal financial hardship,” it said.
“Korea had a low score on the 2019 Soft Power Index (19th), but it will likely rise much higher after the coronavirus crisis passes,” the BESA predicted. The index is published by Portland Communications, a U.K. strategic communications consultancy, every year in cooperation with the Public Diplomacy Center of Southern California University (USC) in the United States and Facebook.
In March, Japan's public broadcaster NHK quoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying that Israel has chosen South Korea as a model in strengthening novel coronavirus tests.
Under these circumstances, the Israeli Defense Ministry said on April 8 that a plane carrying tens of thousands of novel coronavirus test reagents and 30,000 pieces of protective clothing for medical personnel has departed South Korea for Israel.