Chinese experience shows that COVID-19 can and will be contained. Here are seven things that China has done to fight the virus. Caffese adds that they were as wrong as Italy on alert but they used Artificial Intelligence and UV lights well even to clean factories, ships, hospitals, bank notes and credit cards.
China has surpassed the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, with new cases dropping to single digits and improving the overall situation of the epidemic.
On Thursday, mainland China reported eight new cases. Almost 80% of the more than 80,000 infected patients on the Chinese mainland have recovered.
Thanks to hard efforts, China has witnessed an internal trend in which the situation of epidemic prevention and control is making steady progress and the order of life and production is being restored at an increasing pace, Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a phone call with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.Although China still needs to be vigilant for imported infections, his experience shows that the disease can and will be contained. Here are seven things China has done well to fight the virus.
1. COMPREHENSIVE RESPONSE ON INFECTIOUS DISEASE
To combat a highly infectious disease, the main task is to prevent its spread. Therefore, China blocked the epicentre of the Wuhan virus, where 10 million people live, on 23 January. Through Hubei, as many as 60 million people have suffered a kind of restriction in
at its peak, the capital of Hubei, Wuhan, designated 86 hospitals to treat the disease. In about two weeks, he built two field hospitals – Huoshenshan and Leishenshan – to provide 2,600 beds for the seriously ill. The city added another 13,000 beds in 16 hospitals converted into public facilities for people with mild symptoms. By far all 16 temporary hospitals have been closed since the peak in cases has already ended.
The outbreak of the virus coincided with the Lunar New Year holidays in China from 24 January to 2 February. The country launched a nationwide prevention campaign, inviting people to wear masks, wash their hands, insulate themselves and refrain from gathering. Banners, drones and rapes were used to spread the message across the country. The volume of holiday passengers was reduced by half and, for those who needed to travel, places were spaced to minimise contact.
Throughout China, patients with fever, a key symptom of the disease, are being referred to fever clinics to prevent cross-infection. Infected patients are sent to designated hospitals, depending on their level of severity. Tests are free and treatment is covered by medical insurance.
The Chinese National Health Commission has launched seven editions of a guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Companies that produce reagents and test kits have gone full throttle.
Health workers are helping the first group of coronavirus-infected patients to move to the isolation wards of Huoshenshan Hospital (Fire God Mountain) in Wuhan, Central Hubei Province, February 4, 2020. (Xinhua / Xiao Yijiu)
2. MASS MOBILIZATION
All over the country, all hands have been on the mobile bridge…
Medical resources have arrived in Wuhan and other cities in Hubei, the most affected by the virus. The day after the blockade of Wuhan, 450 military doctors arrived to help local doctors. By far, about 42,000 medical personnel from other parts of China, including the military, were sent to Hubei. As part of a “mating support” system, 19 provincial-level regions sent medicines to help fight viruses in Hubei. One in 10 intensive care specialists (ICU) in China was sent to Hubei to treat patients in critical condition.
During the early stages of the epidemic, doctors faced a serious shortage of supplies. As a result, factories that previously produced clothing, plastics and even tofu moved quickly to disguise production, although processing can cost money.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China’s production of protective clothing rose to 500,000 pieces per day from less than 20,000 pieces at the beginning of the outbreak. Daily production of N95 classified medical masks has increased from 200,000 to 1.6 million, while regular production of masks has reached 100 million. For ordinary people, a two-week quarantine is required for anyone who has traveled to provinces or countries affected by the virus. The Chinese people have followed the government’s rules, locked themselves in their homes and kept social distance in selfless sacrifice to maintain their stability.
On January 20, Xi ordered determined efforts to curb the spread of the virus, making the safety and health of people a top priority. Under his command, China has implemented the most comprehensive and rigorous prevention and control measures in a popular war. Since January, the epidemic response has been on the agenda at a series of leadership meetings of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) Xi presided over, including seven meetings of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
On 25 January, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang began to lead a central leadership group in the response to the epidemics and the country initiated an interaction mechanism. Daily announcements are made about the number of diagnosed and suspected patients in each city. Vice Premier Sun Chunlan has been in Hubei to oversee the field work.
Local officials who failed in their responsibility to contain the epidemic were fired. In February, party leaders in Hubei and Wuhan were replaced in light of the serious problems set out in the initial response.
In a visit to Wuhan on 10 March, President Xi promised victory for the
Chinese President Xi Jinping talks to a patient and health workers through a video link at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, Hubei Province, Central China, on March 10, 2020. (Xinhua / Xie Huanchi)
4. TIMELY POLITICAL REGULATION
To stem the outbreak, the Chinese authorities extended the New Year holidays and closed the schools. In February, China announced that it will postpone the annual sessions of national political and legislative advisory bodies, a key event on the country’s political calendar.
By January 29, all provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland had activated a high-level emergency response to the epidemic, cancelling mass events, suspending long-distance buses and closing tourist resorts. When the situation began to improve, the provinces took differentiated measures to resume economic activities as part of prevention.
According to a national guideline, regions with relatively low risks should focus on the prevention of imported cases and the complete restoration of the order of production and life. Medium-risk regions should promote work and the resumption of production in an orderly manner, while high-risk regions such as Wuhan should continue to be fully committed to epidemic prevention and control.migrant workers from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region get off a chartered plane at Sunan Shuofang International Airport in Wuxi, eastern Jiangsu Province, 26 February 2020. (Xinhua / Li Bo)
5. To keep the economy on track, ministries and local governments have put in place policies to ensure agricultural production in the spring season, facilitate business operations and employment, with specific measures such as a temporary reduction or waiver of employers’ social security contributions. The authorities have kept consumer prices stable and punished the gouging of
China’s State Council unveiled a new policy to support foreign trade and investment. The current measures include a shorter negative list of foreign investment and more foreign trade loans from financial institutions.
China has about 170 million migrant workers in rural areas hired by their hometown and bringing them back to work after the holidays was a significant challenge. The companies have hired buses, high-speed trains and airplanes to get them back to work safely.
During the mass quarantine, life goes on as much as possible online.
China has over 854 million people with Internet access. Mobile payment and express courier services are ubiquitous and support daily needs following the
The number of online meetings supported by Tencent Meeting on February 10, when most companies started to resume work, increased 100 times over the previous daily use. Ten online medical platforms in China have more than 100,000 doctors online every day and some platforms provide free questions and answers to Hubei users.Medical specialists provide online services to patients of Henan Provincial People’s Hospital in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, Central China, February 1, 2020. (Xinhua / Li Jianan)
6. TRANSPARENCY, COORDINATED ACTION
At national level, officials managing the epidemic have been subject to constant public scrutiny and have been forced to deliver on their promise to keep their promises.
7. POWER OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY
No one knew how to treat the new disease. However, science and technology are the most powerful weapon in humanity’s battle against disease. President Xi called for the accelerated development of new test kits, antibody drugs, vaccines, diagnosis and treatment plans.
Several drugs, such as chloroquine phosphate and remdesivir, are being tested. Convalescent plasma therapy has been tested. A vaccine is under development.
Outside research laboratories and hospital wards, technology has also emerged, making life easier and safer. China has seen robots spraying disinfectants, drones measuring temperature and a wider use of health codes.
Hangzhou was the first Chinese city to adopt QR codes for medical care. The QR codes, produced with the Alipay mobile app, are linked to users’ electronic health cards and social security cards, making everything from registration to medication easier. Instead of filling out health report forms, residents can now display QR codes at community or highway checkpoints. Therefore, non-contact checks can be performed to reduce the risk of virus transmission. ■