Wint China van corona?

Chinezen hebben door het coronavirus wekenlang met extreme maatregelen moeten leven. Dat lijkt nu z’n vruchten af te werpen: er worden al een paar dagen op rij geen nieuwe coronabesmettingen gemeld. In Nederland neemt het aantal besmettingen juist toe. Kunnen wij lessen trekken uit de Chinese aanpak?

Er is overigens ook wantrouwen over de Chinese cijfers. Volgens critici wijzen die er niet per se op dat er ook echt geen nieuwe mensen besmet zijn. Zij denken dat China misschien gestopt is met testen.

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Transcript

This is us.The number of registered corona infections in the Netherlands……and the virus has just recently arrived.There is one country that has been battling the coronavirus for months……where it all started: ChinaWe have only just started containing the spread of the virus……but it seems as if China already
succeeded in doing so.While we are in full force to increase
the capacity of the ICU here……has China already closed their last temporary corona hospital in Wuhan last week.Chinese doctors who have been working hard for weeks can finally smile again.That looks hopeful.But can we learn something from China?First, let's go back to December.The beginning, because that didn't
go smoothly in China.Doctors that ring the alarm about
the new virus, were being silenced.In a matter of days, doctor Li Wenliang went from treating patients to becoming one.The 34-year-old ophthalmologist died from the Wuhan coronavirus.If action had been taken when
he and others started sounding alarms……the severity of the outbreak might have been understood sooner.Journalists who reported about the virus
were also being silenced.But that strategy of keeping it under the lid was short-lived……when the virus starts to spread rapidly.Then China flipped the switch.From covering up to hard measures.China has taken one of the most ancient
strategies for infectious disease control……and rolled out probably the most ambitious and aggressive……disease containment effort in history.In other words:
a complete lockdown.On January 23, the metropolis of Wuhan, where the virus broke out……changed into a ghost town in no time.People are no longer allowed to leave the city.Not by train, not by car
and not by plane.By text message people recieve a ban on going outside.Only one family member is occasionally allowed to go to the supermarket.Are you travelling within the province? One week of obligated quarantine.Are you coming from outside the
province: two weeks.And you can only go out on the streets with a special permit.And so on.And not much later the whole province, with sixty million inhabitants, went into lock-down.Our correspondent in China, Sjoerd, explains how the government can do that so quickly.China has clearly opted for
what they call 'weidu' here.To literally draw a circle around it, to surround it
and thereby blocking the virus.You could argue it is much easier to lock people up
at home if you live in a totalitarian regime.Here in China, they have the advantage that everywhere in society……there are volunteers, people of the Party,
who keep an eye out.And there are also severe penalties
for people who don't cooperate……to the temperature checks for example……who lie about their travel history,
or people who break out of their quarantine.At the end of January, these images spread all over the world.In ten days, this gigantic emergency hospital was built.And healthcare providers from all over the country are flown in.To help ordinary hospitals……and to treat corona patients in isolation.Anything to contain the virus.Everyone's temperature in the Hubei
province is continuously being checked.And with the slightest fever:
quarantined immediately.That means: not seeing anyone for two weeks.Tight ship.The biggest lesson from China's approach, according to the World Health Organization……the single biggest lesson is speed.Speed is everything.Just like in China,
the priority number 1 here is……to contain further spread of the virus.To prevent our hospitals from being flooded with critically ill patients……and thus help our caregivers.But Prime Minister Rutte also said this in his speech.The reality is that in the near future……a large part of the Dutch population
will become infected with the virus.That could lead to herd immunity.That is very complicated.The theory is that when more and
more people get sick……a collective immunity is built up….so that in the long-term we as a population……build up a resistance
against the virus.Instead of trying to
fully encapsulate the virus……with a total lockdown just like in Wuhan
and other severely affected countries.Because there is still very little knowledge available,
no one knows for sure what the best method is.The problem with a lockdown is……that you can try to lock everything
down to contain the virus…but what if the virus
re-emerges?Does everything start all over again?The problem with herd immunity, on the other hand……is that we can't predict how much immunity is really built up by people……how long they stay immune……and whether they can get sick again when re-infected.An unprecedented dilemma, because…The reality is, that in a crisis like this, you need to make 100% of the decisions with 50% of the knowledge.By implementing a lockdown, China now seems to have won the first battle ……but not yet the entire war.There is also a very important
political point related to it.Xi Jinping locked down the country.There are still very
strict measures in place.That policy is
absolutely not allowed to fail.They can't come back from that now.And they, therefore, say: this strategy
has worked.We'll have to wait and see in
the coming weeks, the coming months …… if it really proved to be effective.I can imagine that if it
eventually leads to……a new hotbed
somewhere in China……that President Xi Jinping and the propaganda channels will mainly point their fingers to the rest of the world.They will say that other countries failed to take a decisive approach in the early stages of this virus.A vaccine against corona, so we can be protected forever……would be the ideal solution but can take a very long time.For now: we don't know that much yet
and we're learning every day.That is why we absolutely must
keep looking at China.We will see.We are keeping a close eye on everything for you and will keep explaining what we can.Keep an eye on us and subscribe to our channel.

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