Empty hospital beds showing that China temporarily defeated COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. Photo: CCTV, Wuhan, China.
National Health Commission (NHC) of China reported last week that there were zero new national cases of the coronavirus in the country, including Wuhan – the first epicentre of the outbreak in China.
Hubei ended the outbreak with just 67,801 cases and 3,187 deaths. Those that did get it, but had mild, weak or no symptoms at all were — by and large — not included in the total infection numbers but the commission said on Tuesday that they would include asymptomatic coronavirus carriers in its daily figures starting tomorrow.
The US and UK authorities are still arguing that China’s death toll and overall infection rate numbers are not reflecting the reality.
How China Defeated COVID-19
China’s strict restrictions (social distancing, quarantine and lockdown) methods were effective because they were strictly enforced; rapidly reducing the range of the virus’s spread and had tremendously successful results outside the Hubei. Considering that Hubei province was on strict quarantine, asymptomatic people were less likely to spread the disease beyond their own household.
Travel ban worked well in China
From January to March, the vast majority of new cases remained in the Wuhan – epicentre of the outbreak in China and cases throughout the rest of the country were confirmed on a straight route almost on daily basis. So, the travel ban in this area worked well.
The travel ban helped reduce the infection rate of coronavirus that emerged in Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces of the country, bringing it down the barest minimum possible. Local authorities further strengthened the lockdown and medical officials were able to contain and suppress the spread.
China applied ‘’All-society mobilization’’ strategy to contain the virus spread.
Moreover, a comprehensive strategy that can be named “all-society mobilization against the virus’’ was employed to contain the virus spread. Every level of government in China prioritized COVID-19 pandemic over other economic challenges and channelled all necessary resources and energy in an integrated fashion towards containing the outbreak. The result of the efforts was impressive and has been commendable. No wonder President Donald Trump of US in a tweet that he spoke to Xi Jinping, the President of China, hinting China deserves much respect for developing a strong understanding of the coronavirus and reiterated that the US was working closely with China in the light of combating the deadly disease. That was when the rate of infection was plummeting.
Containment of the virus outside hard-hit areas and speed up of relief and resources
This appeared to me as one of the best strategies China used to contain the coronavirus spread very fast. China was able to contain the virus outside the hard-hit Wuhan, Hubei province to avoid its national widespread which allowed excess resources and personnel to speed up the relief efforts. Hospitals for treatment were built very quickly.
Successful expanded COVID-19 testing
Expanded COVID-19 testing was also pursued on a rapid scale as many as the citizens who have the virus where detected early and admitted and treated in the hospital immediately. China sits second in the world in testing per capita only behind South Korea, the huge difference in population between the two countries notwithstanding. Guangdong alone has had 300,000 COVID-19 tests on the whole.
The input of Technology advancement: Infra-red scanning technology, Artificial Intelligence and Smartphone Apps
China’s technological advancement also assisted in stifling the spread. The technology was used to the maximum. Train stations, metro stations and other hubs were equipped with infra-red scanning technology to identify high temperatures for likely feverish symptoms; artificial intelligence allowed for quick contact identification and tracking, smartphone apps kept individuals informed about infected areas and establishments.
Conclusively, there is ample evidence to contend that the country has made serious and indisputable progress against the coronavirus, avoiding further national endemic, but considering this as a total victory over the virus in China can be quite unreasonable taking into account how random and fast COVID-19 cases can emerge.