How about control measures China has taken? What can the rest of the world learn from them? | Updated: 2020-03-11 23:44

Bruce Aylward: Chinese public health officials kept on saying to me that there has to be a tailored approach to the kind of transmission you have, capacities and so on. So that was a big message we took away but the single biggest message I took away was speed. You have to find the cases quickly, and you have to get them isolated, and their close contacts need to go into quarantine if this thing is to be broken. So that was the first big message: speed, speed, speed.

The second was that you can't get speed without the cooperation of the population. The public have to understand the virus, understand how serious it is and understand how to get tested or get family or loved ones or colleagues tested if they think they have the virus. And China worked hard to remove barriers. Early in the outbreak the government said: "Look, when your insurance stops, the state will step in to cover the costs." That's important in helping people know that if they are tested positive it will not make them bankrupt. That's another important message for the West.

The government in China has done great things, but what really has impressed me is the people. There has been this sense of societal responsibility and of playing your part. Some people won't feel that way, but the overwhelming proportion do. It is a very, very special thing about China, and it really touched me.

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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