Report: China's fight against COVID-19 (full text)

Updated: Apr 21, 2020 Print
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Experts' view

China has carried out effective prevention and control measures against COVID-19. In the early stage of the outbreak, we locked down Wuhan to control the epidemic, and mobilized the public to prevent and contain the spread of the virus, an arrangement that was later turned into a joint prevention and control mechanism. It can be summarized as "four early's" — early detection, early reporting, early isolation and early treatment, which proves successful. While treating patients, Chinese health workers also paid attention to summarizing their experiences such as the clinical features of the disease and the medicines found effective in treating it, which can help the rest of the world in its fight against the virus. And thanks to its arduous efforts, China has now largely brought the epidemic under control, which is a hard-won achievement.

Zhong Nanshan, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and an expert in respiratory diseases

A joint prevention and control system involving different government departments was launched and first-level emergency response initiated at the provincial level to curb the spread of the virus. The novel coronavirus pneumonia has been controlled as a category-A infectious disease, and virus transmission routes more or less cut off. The decision to lock down Wuhan was wise, as it prevented the disease from spreading rapidly to other parts of the country. In an unprecedented move, the central authorities sent more than 40,000 medics from across the country to Wuhan and its parent province of Hubei to treat COVID-19 patients, which helped contain the outbreak. The joint prevention and control mechanism ensured the supply of medical equipment, materials, reagent test kits and medicines. Thus, China has set an example in collective prevention and control, and centralized treatment of patients.

Li Lanjuan, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and an expert in infectious diseases

The first batch of makeshift hospitals, known as fangcang shelter hospitals, provided more than 4,000 beds in a couple of days, which later increased to over 10,000, admitting all those COVID-19 patients who could not be hospitalized initially. The shelter hospitals admitted only patients with mild symptoms, which, apart from quarantining the patients, also created room for regular hospitals to treat severely ill patients.

Wang Chen, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, an expert in respiratory diseases, and president of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences

The lockdown of Wuhan curbed the spread of COVID-19. The strict community control and home quarantine measures nationwide prevented the epidemic from spreading. The social governance mechanism, including public security, transport restrictions, and supply of daily necessities, has successfully responded to the health emergency.

Dong Jiahong, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and the president of the Clinical Medicine School of Tsinghua University

China's growing strength in basic scientific research in recent years has contributed greatly to the prevention and control of COVID-19. The robust basic research capacity enabled China to rapidly identify the virus at the initial stage of the outbreak, start manufacturing testing kits, and share information about the virus with the rest of the world to help other countries prepare for the epidemic.

Chen Jianguo, vice-president of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and president of Tongji Medical College

Transparency of information is crucial. Transparency and openness are among the best tools to fight the epidemic. Every day, we held one news conference on the epidemic situation in Hubei province and one on the national joint prevention and control response. The regular news conferences may not have helped scotch all the rumors immediately, but we must continue the daily news briefings to counter rumors and speculations. We insist on holding the news conference regardless of the difficulties we meet with.

Dong Guanpeng, a member of the National Health Commission's expert panel investigating on COVID-19, and dean of the School of Government and Public Affairs at the Communication University of China

China established a quasi-wartime work mechanism led by the country's top leader after the epidemic broke out. The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee decided to establish a leading group for epidemic response. And a guiding working group was dispatched to Hubei province, the hardest-hit area in China, to guide epidemic control work, which played a key role in containing the virus.

Hu Angang, president of the Institute of Contemporary China Studies at Tsinghua University

Isolation and lockdown implemented through a vertical management system is pivotal to China's battle against COVID-19. It has become a public consensus that isolation is the most effective measure to prevent the spread of the virus before a vaccine is developed.

Huang Yiping, deputy dean of the National School of Development at Peking University

It is critical to implement the policy to admit, treat and isolate every infected person, and test every suspected one. Thanks to the construction of a batch of fangcang shelter hospitals for patients with mild symptoms, and exiting hospitals designated or re-purposed to treat the severely ill in a short time, the shortage of beds in Wuhan was addressed, and all the patients needing treatment were admitted to these hospitals, cutting the sources of infection.

Tang Zhouping, vice-president of the Tongji Hospital of Tongji Medical College (Guanggu) at Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Traditional Chinese medicine has played a big role in treating COVID-19 patients. The combination of TCM and Western medicine speeded up the recovery of patients, reduced the number of patients turning into severe cases, and shortened the time for the patients to be declared free of the virus after undergoing the nucleic acid test. The combined treatment proved to be both economical and effective.

Wang Yang, head of the national emergency medical team at the Second Xiangya Hospital of the Central South University

We offered special treatment to critically ill patients, such as tracheotomy, ECMO support, transfer of critically ill patients relying on ECMO and CRRT, which reduced the mortality rate of the patients. Targeted therapies were designed for asymptomatic patients, patients with mild or moderate symptoms, and a platform integrating information including doctor's advice, case history, and diagnosis and treatment of patients was set up. The medical team also conducted remote consultation with experts at the headquarters to promote tiered and targeted treatment.

Wang Yansen, head of the national emergency medical team at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital

Dissemination of scientific knowledge about COVID-19 has played a key role in the fight against the disease. Professional science popularization platforms, mainstream media outlets and commercial news organizations have done a lot in raising public awareness about the disease and ease public panic. Experts such as Zhong Nanshan, Li Lanjuan and Zhang Wenhong analyzed in detail the epidemic situation to dispel rumors and raise public awareness about how to prevent and control the virus. People have learned that they can protect themselves by maintaining good hygiene habits, such as wearing a face mask, frequently washing their hands, and airing their rooms.

Wang Ting, director of the China Research Institute for Science Popularization and vice-president of the China Science Writers Association

Social organizations have played a positive role in combating the infectious disease. Leaders of social organizations, volunteers, and social workers have all supported the government in curbing the spread of the disease. And mainstream media outlets have released epidemic-related information in a transparent and open manner, alleviating people's anxiety and boosting their confidence.

Huang Haoming, acting dean and professor at the China Global Philanthropy Institute

China has a strong social mobilization capacity. Under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, residents stayed at home to prevent the spread of the virus, and won acclaim from the international community.

Lai Xianjin, a professor with the Department of Public Management at the National Academy of Governance

The Chinese government quickly mobilized national resources and played the role of the "visible hand", including marshalling enterprises to manufacture products needed to contain the epidemic. The government organized and coordinated the production of enterprises, and distributed goods based on different public security risk levels, thus preventing hoarding and speculation of goods.

Li Yiping, a professor with the School of Economics at the Renmin University of China

China's efforts to improve community management in recent years have paid off, as communities were on the front line of the fight against the novel coronavirus. Some regions built on their past successes in community management and made innovations in their measures to fight the virus. Also, successful experiences, such as a green health code and community interaction, have been promoted across the country,

Liu Jinlong, a professor of agriculture and rural area development at Renmin University of China

According to the findings of our study, it is vital to stop the spread of a virus within one month. If China had not imposed the lockdown on Wuhan and some other cities, the number of infections might have been 10 times bigger. Considering the lack of effective treatment method for COVID-19, therefore, cutting off the source of infection by locking down Wuhan and some other cities as soon as possible was the right measure.

Zhou Weisheng, a professor with the College of Policy Science at Ritsumeikan University in Japan

China boasts a strong manufacturing industry, which allows it to make timely adjustments and mobilize various sectors to produce urgently needed medical equipment, particularly face masks and shields, sanitizers, ventilators, and personal protective equipment. China has the most complete industrial structure in the world, which has played a key role in the emergency response.

Wang Lei, an associate professor with the School of Government and director of the research center for BRICS cooperation at the Beijing Normal University

China's early identification and effective lockdown of its epicenter stands out as the most effective part of China's response.

Swaran Singh, a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and adjunct senior fellow at the Charhar Institute, Beijing

China's ability to address the severity of the coronavirus epidemic was enhanced by the sharing of key data and information to ensure the appropriate decisions were made.

Denis Simon, executive vice-chancellor of Duke Kunshan University

Three important steps have been taken: to continue monitoring the situation extensively; use big data, artificial intelligence and information technology, including QR codes, to determine where infections may be occurring; and provide simple and clear instructions to the public as to how they should act until the crisis is under control.

Asit K. Biswas, an academician and visiting professor at University of Glasgow in the UK

I believe at the core of this success was every household's commitment to stay at home, to isolate and to practice personal hygiene habits with greater self-awareness.

Mario Cavolo, an Italian-American freelance writer and commentator

The Chinese government disseminated public awareness and people stood up to the task to be socially responsible to save themselves and halt the spread of COVID-19.

Yasir Masood, an international relations analyst working as director of media at the CPEC-Centre of Excellence, Islamabad

The large turnout of volunteers helping the nation combat the virus is an example of Chinese willingness to make sacrifices for the country.

Hisham Abu Bakr Metwally, first economist researcher at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry

The use of artificial intelligence and data science has proven to be effective in China and the Republic of Korea.

Oriol Caudevilla, a fellow at the East Asia Research and Studies Center of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Africa and China know solidarity and international cooperation are the most powerful weapons to overcome COVID-19.

Gert Grobler, former ambassador of South Africa to Japan, currently a senior research fellow at the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University

The first strategy the global community could learn from China, both at national and local levels, was setting up a unified principle and leadership by establishing the guiding principle as, "placing people's life, security and health above anything else".

Hiria Ottino, president of the Council on Pacific Affairs

Promoting self-quarantine in all cities and regions through awareness campaigns and community coordination. This helped people, even in remote areas, to avoid infection by the disease.

Geeta Kochhar, visiting scholar at Fudan Development Institute, and an assistant professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

The most decisive aspect of China's epidemic response was the decision to elevate it to a coordinated national-level policy. This ensured directives like quarantine were uniformly executed and followed, and other aspects of the policy were integrated to minimize panic and economic damage.

Thomas DuBois, professor of humanities at Beijing Normal University and invited researcher of Fudan Development Institute

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