Accumulated epidemiological lessons and China’s COVID-19 response

The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future: Virology, Epidemiology, Translational Toxicology and Therapeutics

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry

An assessment of China’s reponse to COVID-19 and what it means for epidemic control and prevention 

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This chapter attempts to examine the logic and thus provide a critical analysis of China’s response plan during the outbreak of COVID-19 from the perspective of fear and trust. China’s experience and lessons from the emergence of the SARS epidemic in 2003 held particular significance and implications in formulating its epidemiological perspective and response to COVID-19. Both cases demonstrate that the biggest challenge for any public health strategy is to strike a delicate balance between concern for public opinion and the initiation of exclusionary protective measures. The adjunct of modern technology can reach a wider public audience to either reduce or escalate public fear and hence validate a long-standing view that the capacity to govern can determine a government’s performance in epidemic control and prevention.