Explained: Countries that are setting example for world in fight against coronavirus

Delhi Mar 24, 2020, 01.05 PM(IST) Written By: WION

Hong Kong Flu Photograph:( AFP )

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These four countries are setting an example for the world in the fight against the Wuhan coronavirus:

What seemed unthinkable a month back, is rapidly becoming the new normal. The coronavirus has plunged the entire world into a state of war.

From Singapore to the United States, there are now 167 countries locked in a deadly battle against this virus. But some nations, with their furious efforts, are demonstrating that the virus can be defeated.

They were either better equipped or better prepared to contain the crisis. Some others have taken steps to keep the virus from going into an exponential growth cycle.

These four countries are setting an example for the world in the fight against the Wuhan coronavirus:

Honk Kong:

Hong Kong had been rocked by an entire year of political protests, it worked swiftly to contain the spread of this virus. The city is located at the frontline of the outbreak, just 919 kilometres away from Wuhan.

But in the last two months, Hong Kong has recorded only 357 cases and 4 deaths. Because the 7.5 million residents in this city, even the anti-government protesters, listened to medical experts. 

With the 2003 SARS outbreak still fresh in people's minds. Hong-Kongers built upon public directives and set a clear baseline for social distancing.

Schools, universities and offices were shut in late January. So were airports and most border crossings with mainland China.

Today, arrivals from mainland China have fallen to a daily average of 750 and these people are strictly made to self-quarantine for 14 days.

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South Korea

South Korea has reported 9,000 cases and 111 deaths, but the outbreak is in relative decline. The country is testing anyone who has had close contact with a patient, regardless of symptoms.

20,000 people are being tested every day at 633 centres across the country. This mass and indiscriminate testing is being followed by rigorous contact-tracing and quarantine of all suspects.

In 2015, the MERS outbreak claimed 38 lives in South Korea. In the 5 years that followed, successive governments overhauled their response to respiratory infections and fast-tracked production of test kits.

Today, nearly every hospital in South Korea is equipped with infection control units and pressure rooms.

Taiwan

Taiwan has been shut out of the World Health Organisation (WHO) discussions, but its coronavirus response is a success story.

It is located just 200 kilometres away from China's coast, but has reported only 195 cases because in December, the country began inspecting everything and everybody coming in from China.

In January, it stopped all exports of surgical masks as a precaution. The same month, travel history of all its residents were integrated with health insurance cards.

And right now, everyone undergoing self-quarantine has their cell-phones tracked. Taiwan has reported only two deaths in the last 3 months.

Singapore

Singapore too is doing everything right. After the horrors of the SARS outbreak, Singapore had developed a robust infrastructure for dealing with pandemics.

In January, it became one of the first countries to report cases. But Singapore was prepared for the coronavirus juggernaut. The country has designated contact tracers outlining each patient's case history.

Testing is free, 2,000 people are being tested every day. Schools and restaurants remain open, but people constantly have their temperatures checked. The result, the number of cases has been restricted to 455 and there have been only 2 deaths.