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Journal: Control of virus aided by speed

China Daily | Updated: 2020-10-12 10:04
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A medical worker collects a throat swab from a resident at a temporary nucleic acid testing station on a school playground at the Fushou community in Zhongshan district in Dalian, Liaoning province, on July 29, 2020. [Photo by Lin Lin/]

China has managed to wrest control of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the success attributed to a speedy response and the country's culture, among other things, medical journal The Lancet has reported.

Comparing pandemic developments in China and some Western countries, an article published in the journal on Thursday said that "a centralized epidemic response system" made China well-placed to tackle the disease.

"The speed of China's response was the crucial factor," said Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minnesota, in the United States.

"They moved very quickly to stop transmission. Other countries, even though they had much longer to prepare for the arrival of the virus, delayed their response, and that meant they lost control."

The article analyzed China's measures to fight the pandemic, from strict lockdowns and outdoor restrictions to massive testing in cities nationwide.

"China had managed to test 9 million people for SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan" within weeks, it noted, adding "It set up an effective national system of contact tracing."

The article outlined the factors promoting the effectiveness of China's response, including its capacity for manufacturing personal protective equipment, the establishment of an effective network of makeshift hospitals, public health actions (notably the wearing of masks), coordination between government sectors and civil compliance with regulations.

"Commitment to the greater good is ingrained in the culture," Poland said, adding that Chinese people accept the notion that disease control is a matter of science.

China's response to the pandemic can provide lessons for others, the article said.


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