Some people say other countries have failed to take advantage of the window of opportunity that China's experience offered them. What do you think of that? | Updated: 2020-03-11 23:42

Bruce Aylward: One of the things we say in our report is that China was a first line of defense against the worldwide spread of the virus. It eventually did spread out of China, of course, but then China very, very rapidly got control of the situation. And we did not see a further spread out of Wuhan or out of China to the rest of the world. The second line of defense became those countries infected next. One great thing was China's willingness to share its experience, share what it learned with the rest of the world. Our mission was allowed to look at whatever we wanted, and everything was very transparent. One point in our report, and this was before Italy, and Iran blew up in terms of cases, is that we were already seeing cases in South Korea, and we expressed our concern that the world was unprepared.

It was not learning the lesson from China quickly enough. We said that "You have to have your population with you, they have to know the seriousness of this, they have to be able to be rapidly tested." What we're seeing is some of the consequences when any part of that breaks down. But the other important thing we learned from China, and this is a message that I've been sharing with Iran and with Italy over the past few days, it is never too late to get this under control. It comes down to saving lives, saving lives, saving lives. Everything China has done has been about that.

China created a window for the whole world to get ready and get ready fast.

Bruce Aylward, a Canadian epidemiologist and leader of the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19, shares his insights with China Daily in Geneva on March 6.

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