onsdag 25. mars 2020

Life after lockdown: has China really beaten coronavirus?

According to official statistics, China has defeated the coronavirus. Over the last five days, health authorities have reported only one new locally transmitted case of Covid-19 – a patient in Guangdong province infected by someone travelling from abroad. In Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak and the country’s worst-hit area, officials on Monday reported a fifth day without new cases.

The figures are a sharp drop from just a month ago when recording a daily increase of fewer than 2,000 new infections was a milestone. Authorities have begun easing Wuhan’s two-month lockdown while cities across the country are following orders to “fully restore” production and resume normal life.

But as the country returns to work, residents and analysts doubt the near-zero community transmission rate, worrying that leaders have prioritised restarting the economy over decisively containing the virus. While public health experts, as well as citizens, say the situation in China has improved dramatically – the result of aggressive testing, quarantines and social distancing – many doubt the numbers are as good as officials have reported.