Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now a global health threat. The world is in the worst public health crisis in modern history. This single virus has shown how weak the global preparedness is for contagious diseases. As the world is now a small-connected village, the virus has spread swiftly all over the world with impacts on public health, economy, and community lifestyle. It has shut the world down. As of today (April 13, 2021), there have been 136,115,434 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 2,936,916 deaths. Though the very first coronavirus (COVID-19) cases were discovered in China, the country successfully recovered from the deadly coronavirus and celebrated a COVID-19 triumph ceremony.
The Initial Outbreak of COVID-19
The initial cluster of COVID-19 cases had a link to a wholesale food market where live and dead animals were sold. The market is located in Wuhan, a city of Hebei province in China. The Chinese government first reported COVID-19 to the WHO on December 31, 2019. In the coronavirus outbreak, symptoms of lower respiratory tract infection (RTI) were present in patients. It is believed that the COVID-19 virus has evolved from a bat-derived coronavirus that has 88% genome identity with the virus (COVID-19).
The virus transmits from one person to another via respiratory droplets (saliva, mucus, cough) or by close contact (within 2 m) with contaminated secretions. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus (coronavirus) can spread through respiratory droplets. The transmission also occurs through the air. The virus can remain infectious on inanimate objects from hours to several days. This contagious disease has turned into a pandemic in only 71 days spreading swiftly from China throughout the world. The WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
As the available vaccines are not 100% successful in curing COVID-19, only supportive care and prevention of complications are the main pillars of current patient care management. Therefore, emphasis should be on the strict prevention of disease transmission within the community, especially for the most vulnerable ones. Community exposure should be minimized by limiting the public gathering and close contact. Moreover, good hygiene should be maintained by washing hands, wearing masks properly, disinfecting the surface areas. Furthermore, mass testing should be ensured to determine covid-positive patients and isolate them. Besides, a mass vaccination campaign should be run to achieve herd immunity to check the deadly coronavirus.
Chinese Government Initiatives
China had taken effective preventive measures against the COVID-19 outbreak. It showed the world how to recover coronavirus or COVID-19 disease. The country’s initiatives to contain the outbreak had been praised worldwide. These groundbreaking steps saved millions. Following are the noteworthy precautionary measures for coronavirus protection:
1. Lockdown in 3 Days
On January 23rd, 2020, the Chinese government ordered people in Wuhan, where the deadly coronavirus was first discovered, not to leave the city effectively putting it on lockdown. China made this tough decision in less than 3 days after the virus became evident that human-to-human transmission had occurred.
2. Emergency Hospitals in 10 Days
Building a hospital in 10 days from scratch is no easy feat. But with almost every hospital in Wuhan flooded with patients and amid rising numbers of new infections, there was only one option available and that was to build more hospitals. It normally takes at least 6 to 8 months to construct a new hospital. The first facility China built in Wuhan had 1,000 beds and 30 intensive care units (ICUs). China mobilized military and medical staff from all over the country to help build and operate the hospital. Speed was a top priority to China then.
3. Self-quarantine for 14 Days
The Chinese government imposed a strict self-quarantine rule for 14 days in Beijing. The rule was effective for those who contacted people from Hubei Province, traveled outside the city, shared a room with people traveled outside the city, had a body temperature of over 37.3-degree celsius, had people infected nearby. The duration of 14-day isolation was mandatory because, according to the scientists, the coronavirus incubation period is 14 days.
4. Control of Daily Activities
Even for those who decided not to travel and stay where they were, things were not exactly easy. Movie theaters, parks, museums, and art galleries were all closed and only a handful of restaurants remained open in the first few weeks of the outbreak. Businesses only operated in convenience stores and supermarkets. Some specific measures were in place there:
- Everyone had to wear a face mask.
- Keeping social distance was mandatory for everyone that was maintained strictly.
- Disinfectants were sprayed on surface areas massively.
- No one was allowed to set foot inside any closed public space without having his or her body temperature taken at the door.
- In certain neighborhoods, residents had to fill out a form with information about the places they have visited, the public transport modes they have taken, the people they have dealt with, and so on.
5. Working from Home
Such an unprecedented epidemic can easily deal a heavy blow to China’s economy. To prevent that the Chinese people worked from home. They also did the shopping, ordering food, and socializing without setting their foot outside.
6. Massive Coronavirus Testing Campaign
China launched a massive coronavirus testing campaign when encountered a cluster of new infections after a fall in the number of COVID-positive cases to stop the spread. This was to prevent the second wave of COVID-19. The purpose of the campaign was to determine and isolate the COVID-positive patients and to take them under healthcare management immediately. Also, the authority tasted massively to find out the asymptomatic cases, or the people who have tested positive but showed no clinical symptoms i.e. fever, because asymptomatic patients are capable of spreading the virus to others.
7. Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign
Experts say that vaccines can grow herd immunity in the human body that protects against COVID-19 disease. According to Reuters, China approved its first self-developed COVID-19 vaccine (Sinovac) to administer to the Chinese people on December 31, 2020 to protect the transmission of the disease. Sinopharm, a state-owned pharmaceutical company in China, has developed the Sinovac. The developer claimed that Sinovac showed 79.34% efficacy against COVID-19 though different efficacy rates came out in trials in different countries. The main point is that China has recovered by administering the vaccine.
8. The Top Most Priority on Speed Performance
While facing hardship, different countries respond differently. During this emergency, China chose urgency. Everything the country did, it did with minimal time for maximal effect. The new coronavirus is a global threat for all human beings. In this pandemic situation, speed is the most important thing in prevention work, and china believed it. Precautions must be taken because life is just too precious to lose.
Celebration of a Triumph Ceremony Against Coronavirus
After the hardship of 1-year struggle against coronavirus, China celebrated a triumph ceremony beating the virus on September 8, 2020. China is going virus-free though billions are still suffering worldwide. Wuhan, the city where the world’s first COVID-19 case was reported, celebrated being virus-free a year after reporting. Life in Wuhan is now largely back to normal. The people of the city are now enjoying life on the other side of the pandemic. But, many families are still mourning the death of loved ones caused by the deadly coronavirus.