Washington: Investigators said on Tuesday that China’s decision to lock Wuhan in the “zero” zone of the global COVID-19 pandemic has prevented more than 700,000 new cases by delaying the spread of the virus.
According to an article published by Chinese, American and British researchers in the journal Science, China took strict control measures during the first 50 days of the epidemic and took other cities in the country precious time to prepare and install. own limitations.
Christopher Dye, a fellow at Oxford University, said that on the 50th day of the outbreak, Feb. 19, 30,000 cases had been identified in China.
“Our analysis suggests that without the Wuhan travel ban and the national emergency response there would have been more than 700,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases outside of Wuhan by that date,” he was quoted as saying in a press release.
“China’s control measures appear to have worked by successfully breaking the chain of transmission — preventing contact between infectious and susceptible people.”
Researchers combined case reports, public health information, and cell phone location tracking to study the spread of the virus.
Another author of the report, Ottar Bjornstad, a professor of biology at Penn State University, said tracking phones provided “interesting” new data flows.
The time they studied was China’s biggest holiday, the Chinese New Year.
Bjornstad said the researchers could “compare the road to and from Wuhan during the outbreak with cell phone data from the previous two spring festivals.”
‘Analysis shows that since the travel ban on January 23, 2020, the number of travelers has decreased significantly. On the basis of this data, we can also calculate the possible reduction in cases related to Wuhan in other cities in China.
Their model showed that the closure in Wuhan slowed the spread of the virus in other cities, giving them time to prepare by banning public gatherings and closing nightspots.
Nearly half of them are now told to stay at home to help stop the spread of the virus, and closure measures are returning to normal quickly.
But when Beijing first closed Wuhan more than two months ago, the decision was seen as a dramatic escalation in the fight against infection.
As restrictions in cities are gradually lifted and people’s lives become more and more normal, for China and the rest of the world, what will happen once the movement resumes.
“We are well aware that residents or foreign infections can cause the transmission to spread again,” said Tian Huaiyu, another author of the report and an associate professor of epidemiology at Beijing Normal University.