A 97-Year-Old Woman in South Korea Recovers Fully from Coronavirus, Becoming the Oldest Patient Who Left Behind in the Country

A 97-Year-Old Woman in South Korea Recovers Fully from Coronavirus, Becoming the Oldest Patient Who Left Behind in the Country

A 97-year-old South Korean woman has fully recovered from coronavirus, becoming the oldest person in the country to survive infection.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported on Thursday that officials said the old woman had left quarantine and returned home after making a full recovery from COVID-19, a disease caused by the novel corona virus. Although the woman’s identity was not revealed, she came from the southeastern city of Cheongdo, which is close to Daegu, the epicenter of the spread of Asian peoples.

Although South Korea is close to China and the initial surge in virus confirmed cases, the country has done an impressive job of controlling the spread of the pandemic. Although South Korea found its first case the same day as the U.S., Asian countries mobilized quickly to expand testing and isolate the infected.

People wearing masks walk through an alley in Seoul, South Korea, on March 24.
ED JONES / AFP / Getty

Now, two months later, South Korea reported only 104 new cases of the virus on Thursday, bringing the total to 9,241, according to the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over the past two weeks, the number of new cases has reached around 100 or even lower. So far only 132 people have died from the virus in South Korea.

Meanwhile, a pandemic has exploded in the US, with almost 70,000 confirmed cases. More than 1,000 people have died from COVID-19, while 619 have recovered. Health experts have criticized the federal government’s response to the crisis, noting that the US is slow in testing and has not taken adequate steps to track and isolate those infected.

Although older people are more at risk of serious complications and death from COVID-19, there have been many reports of very old people recovering fully. Even a centenarian in China, as well as one in Iran, has made a full recovery, according to local media reports.

Last week, Iranian media reported that a 103-year-old woman had recovered fully after being treated in a hospital with a virus in downtown Semnan. A 91-year-old in the Persian Gulf state had previously recovered from a virus in the city of Kerman.

Earlier in March, Chinese media reported that a 100-year-old man had recovered from COVID-19 and was discharged from a hospital in Wuhan after being treated for 13 days. He had just celebrated his 100th birthday in February, just before contracting the virus.

Globally, there are now more than 463,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus. More than 117,000 people have recovered, while more than 22,000 have died. The largest number of confirmed cases is still in China, where the virus first appeared.

But Italy and the US are catching up quickly and are expected to surpass Asian countries in confirmed cases in the near future. The World Health Organization warned earlier this week that the US would become the epicenter of a new global earthquake for the outbreak.