A cross-country core strategy comparison in China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea during the early COVID-19 pandemic

Haiqian Chen, Leiyu Shi, Yuyao Zhang, Xiaohan Wang, Gang Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The study aimed to analyze the effectiveness of COVID-19 strategies adopted by China, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. Methods: We extracted publicly available data from various official websites, summarized the strategies implemented in these four countries, and assessed the effectiveness of the prevention and control measures adopted by these countries. Results: As of October 28, 2020, the growth of daily new confirmed cases has stabilized in China, Singapore, and South Korea. In Japan, the daily new confirmed cases increased sharply since it lifted a state of emergency, but case-fatality maintains at a lower level. The growth of total cases is near stagnant in China and Singapore, with a case-fatality of 5.39 and 0.05% respectively. The case-fatality rate between Japan and South Korea is identical at 1.76%, however, Japan’s growth rate of cases has increased more rapidly than South Korea. Conclusion: This study found that China, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea accessed the situation within their own borders and implemented different intervention strategies to curb the spread of COVID-19 and maintain lower rates of case-fatality. China, Singapore, and South Korea adopted the containment strategy, while Japan adopted the mitigation strategy. Although Japan’s case-fatality maintained at a low level, daily new cases increased faster than the other three countries. This result indicated that a mitigation strategy could be inferior to a containment strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22
JournalGlobalization and health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Containment strategy
  • Core strategy comparison
  • Mitigation strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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