Finally, something positive about the deadly virus that has jolted the world since January this year as the daily tally has plummeted to less than 10 per day in Wuhan, China. So, while the number of cases is escalating in the rest of the world, the exact opposite is happening in Wuhan where only 9 new cases of COVID-19 were reported today.
The spokesperson of the National Health Commission, Mi Feng, welcomed the news as a breath of fresh air amid all the panic and uncertainty. Speaking at a briefing in Beijing today, he said:
Broadly speaking, the peak of the epidemic has passed for coronavirus.
The cases in Wuhan, the epicenter of coronavirus outbreak and home to 11 million people, are seeing a dramatic decline on a daily basis. On Wednesday, just 15 new cases emerged. Earlier in January and February, a minimum of 200-300 new cases were reported each day. On February 10 this year, a record of 2,487 patients tested positive for the respiratory pathogen.
As of today, the total cases in China and the rest of the world stand at 129,842. The virus has a fatality rate of 2% as per careful estimates of the World Health Organization (WHO), which means more people are surviving than succumbing. More than 62,000 people beat the virus in China.
Despite the sharp drop in COVID-19 cases, China is and will remain vigilant. The spokesperson has reiterated that China would strictly follow and implement the prevention and control efforts.
What Measures did China Take to Cull the Pathogen that the World Can Replicate?
Not too long ago, Chinese hospitals were overrun with COVID-19 patients but the past seven days have surprised everyone. The hospitals beds are empty now. All 16 public facilities that were transformed into make-shift hospitals are now closed.
“China shuts all 16 temporary #coronavirus hospitals in Wuhan.
In a dramatic sign that the coronavirus crisis is improving in China, the last two of 16 temporary hospitals in the epicenter city of Wuhan have been shut down, according to a report.”#CODVID19
— Coronavirus Updates (@CoronaVUpdates) March 11, 2020
These make-shift hospitals were temporarily set up in public venues including gymnasium and exhibition centers to diagnose and treat hordes of people coming in with pneumonia-like symptoms. Temporary hospitals employed over 8,000 medical workers and 94 doctors, and treated over 1,200 patients. Today marks the day when the last two remaining hospitals are being shut down after achieving the goal.
Since the start of the epidemic, China, in collaboration with the WHO team of health care experts and epidemiologists, has taken aggressive measures to contain the virus. The government stepped up and quarantined Wuhan and nearby cities in January, no one out of the 50 million people were allowed to move out of the area that was strictly electronically monitored. In the rest of the country, people voluntarily isolated themselves and were monitored by neighbors who reported to the local authorities. The Chinese government went full throttle in the health care sector and sent all medical force into the region to trace contacts of the confirmed cases. All 1,800 teams, comprising five or more paramedic teams, traced every contact and reported over thousands of suspected and confirmed cases that were immediately isolated and treated.
Meanwhile, all sporting events, theaters and gatherings were canceled. The schools have announced a break, most of the businesses are shut and people are voluntarily wearing masks in China. The government is keeping track of people’s movement through apps like AliPay and WeChat that the majority of the population uses as an alternative to currency and cash payment. Each mobile phone is mandated to show a color code (green, red or yellow) indicating the health status. The guards at train stations check the codes before a passenger is allowed to embark on the vehicle.
With these bold measures, the Chinese government has saved hundreds of thousands of lives. These measures are feasible and can effectively be replicated in Europe, particularly in Italy where the tally has reached over 12,000 cases, and the USA where the virus is spreading uncontrollably claiming lives.
“European CDC says containing #coronavirus is no longer feasible, recommends suspension of mass gatherings, social distancing measures at workplaces, and measures in and closure of schools.”#COVID19 #CoronavirusPandemic #Covid_19 #CoronaVirusUpdate
— Coronavirus Updates (@CoronaVUpdates) March 12, 2020