The world today, is almost at a standstill where the movement of people from one continent or country to another is no longer possible. Movement between cities of one country is also limited. Airlines have suspended flights, economic activities have been halted and many countries seem to be in a state of emergency in the fight against the Corona virus (COVID- 19) pandemic.
As we write now, on 31st March 2020, at 14.49hrs, the global statistics show that 802, 831 people have been infected with the corona virus while 39,022 have been killed and the number of infections going up every day, while the registered number of those who have recovered is 172,319.
Although China was the first to face and fight the COVID-19 epidemic before other countries, today China registered only new cases 79 of infections and the recovery rate recorded at 93%. The most exciting good news is that many cities including Wuhan which was the epicenter of the epidemic, life is getting back to normal, public transport getting back to operate and industries open to resume production. The big question is; a country like China with a population of 1.4 billion people, how did it manage to contain the spread COVID-19 in a short period, and what lessons can African countries learn from China’s experience?
First and foremost, China put in place effective co-ordination and control measures against the spread of COVID-19, with the government, medical teams, security institutions, community workers and ordinary citizens working together for a common objective to win the war against the corona virus. This high level of coordination and the political will from the highest authority is necessary in order for African countries to make a way forward in the fight against COVID-19, as the numbers of infected people on the continent are still on the rise.
President Xi Jinping has personally been involved in the national planning and coordination of the strategic actions to fight COVID-19, and appeared at the frontline in Wuhan, where some commentators feared that he was exposing himself to danger. Putting people’s lives first was the government’s mantra regardless of the cost.
Secondly, China rapidly put up specialized hospitals especially in Wuhan to cut the transmission chain and avoid infecting other patients in hospitals suffering from other diseases. This was done in unmatched record time of less than two weeks to set the hospitals and starting operations to treat thousands of patients. Quick mobilization of medical teams of Doctors, nurses and essential support staff was done so that the patients received all the necessary facilities and care 24 hours per day.
The total lock down of cities to stop unnecessary movement of people and shut down of businesses was a stringent measure that greatly stopped the transmission of the COVID-19. Imposing total lockdown is still a challenge to some African countries, but highly necessary and effective. Food stores and markets have to operate in a responsible manner avoiding congestion and with social distancing to be observed. China mobilized thousands of community workers who went from door to door checking on the health of the people and ensuring that they had enough food supplies. Staying in homes helped million to keep is isolation from possible danger of contamination. Frequent hand washing with soap or sanitizer and avoiding large crowds of people are highly recommended simple but crucial measures to stay safe.
China has taken the lead in the global fight against COVID-19, by supporting not only African countries, but many countries all over the world, availing the essential medical equipment to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. China has also dispatched teams of medical experts in different countries to give support and to share experiences on how to deal with the pandemic.
The global experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has proved beyond doubt the philosophy by President Xi Jinping that the world is indeed a “community of shared destiny”. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected both the rich and poor countries equally, it has affected the lowly and the mighty in society. The COVID-19 pandemic does has no respect for territorial borders or political systems. It is therefore important to note that in order to win the global war against the COVID-19 pandemic, solidarity and cooperation of world countries is paramount since the war against the COVID-19 pandemic is a war against the human race.
Africa-China Review Editorial.