torsdag 26. mars 2020

Europe’s coronavirus lockdown nightmare compared to China’s

China has a grid-like community control system, which may have helped slow the spread of the coronavirus. Besides reporting activities in neighbourhoods to the authorities, the grid system has workers available to provide community assistance to those in need. Like Europe, China seemed to fumble at the initial outbreak. Wuhan authorities at ground zero initially failed to report cases of the mystery illness, which cost time and lives. The city’s early response was to silence whistle-blowers like the late Dr Li Wenliang and clamp down on social media to control information.

But once China did mobilise, it imposed unprecedented measures. Movement in and out of Wuhan was halted, and the city, along with 15 others in Hubei province – home to more than 60 million people – went into lockdown. Flights and train travel was suspended and roads were blocked. The logistics of isolating millions of people are staggering. Here, we look at how the grid system was instrumental in China’s lockdown effort.