China provides vital lessons of COVID-19 containment for global response: WHO

02.03.2020 23:17

Zhao Jianping (3rd R), a respiratory and critical care specialist from the Wuhan-based Tongji Hospital, instructs his colleagues at the severe case ward in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province, Feb. 18, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Yuguo)


China’s rather unique and unprecedented public health response reversed the escalating cases in Hubei and beyond, a WHO report said.


GENEVA, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) — China’s uncompromising and rigorous use of non-pharmaceutical measures to contain the transmission of the novel coronavirus in multiple settings provides vital lessons for the global response, a World Health Organization (WHO) report said on Feb 28.


The WHO-China Joint Mission, consisting of 25 experts from eight countries and the WHO, produced the report about its recent nine-day field study trip on COVID-19 in China’s capital Beijing and provinces of Guangdong, Sichuan and Hubei.


China’s rather unique and unprecedented public health response reversed the escalating cases in Hubei and beyond, said the report.


Despite diversified COVID-19 transmission chains across the country, the rapid adaptation and tailoring of China’s strategy demonstrated that containment can be adapted and successfully operationalized in a wide range of settings, it said.


The joint mission concluded that China’s experience strongly supports the efficacy and effectiveness of anchoring COVID-19 readiness and rapid response plans in a thorough assessment of local risks and of utilizing a differentiated risk-based containment strategy, stressing “such a strategy is essential for ensuring a sustainable approach while minimizing the socio-economic impact.”


Besides, the report offered 22 recommendations on COVID-19 control for affected and unaffected countries, the international community as well as the public.


For COVID-19 outbreak outside China, the affected countries are recommended to immediately activate the highest level of national response management protocols, as well as prioritize case finding, testing and isolation, contact tracing, and quarantine of close contacts.


The report also advised that these countries educate the public on the seriousness of COVID-19 and their role in preventing its spread, expand surveillance to detect transmission chains, as well as conduct multi-sector scenario planning and simulations for the deployment of even more stringent measures to interrupt transmission chains.


On Friday, the WHO raised the risk assessment of COVID-19 from “high” to “very high” at global level, as an increasing number of cases in more countries were reported over the last few days.


National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China