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Head of WHO International Expert Panel Applauds China for Its Pragmatic and Agile Containment Approach

At a press briefing at WHO headquarters in Geneva on 25 February, Dr. Bruce Aylward, head of the international expert panel of the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19, commended China for its pragmatic and agile large-scale efforts to contain the outbreak.

Aylward said that China has taken a "very pragmatic" and systematic approach to contain the outbreak despite the lacking of vaccine and effective medicine. Measures adopted have been "impressive and critical to making it [outbreak control] work."

Aylward highlighted several key aspects of China's response to the outbreak. First, China has taken a "differentiated" approach for different regions. To be more specific, containment measures are applied to varying degrees in Wuhan and places outside Hubei Province. Differentiated efforts are tailored to regions with zero cases, sporadic cases, clusters of cases and community transmission. In addition, the Chinese people "mobilized a phenomenal collective action and cooperation". Aylward noted that "every person you talked to there has a sense that they are mobilized like in a war against the virus and they are organized," and that they all shared the sense of responsibility and accountability to stop the spread of the virus.

According to Aylward, a major feature in China's prevention and control measures is that they are technologically-powered and science-driven. For example, through managing massive amounts of data, China has made best efforts to find every case and trace every contact of confirmed cases.

Aylward emphasized that COVID-19 is an epidemic affecting different places of the world. It is important to tackle it superfast to prevent a pandemic. China's prevention and control efforts demonstrate that the epidemic is within control if a rigorous approach is applied to this outbreak.

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