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1/ When @nytimes senior health reporter Donald McNeil Jr writes, consider it mandatory reading.

This piece about what Asian countries did right to stop #covid19 - China, South Korea, Singapore etc- is both shocking, and incredible.…
2/ One of the biggest take-aways for me was around case isolation.

If you were a confirmed case, you were not sent back home.

You were going straight to an isolation center (gym/school/ etc)

This is bc in China, est suggest that 75-80% of transmission was in family clusters.
3/ The same policy seems to be true for South Korea. Isolation was in government shelters.

The next key point was around contact tracing.

This depended on both testing and tracking contacts and their exposures.

South Korea did this exceptionally well & they did it fast.
4/ They had 4 commercial labs making tests for the country up and running-- in January.

By March, they had run the equivalent (corrected for US population) of 2.3 million #covid19 tests.

The US at that same point in time had run fewer than 9,000.
5/ For contact tracing, SK used phone + credit card data, as well as GPS, to figure out who you crossed paths with.

If you even had possible exposure, you were quarantined.

A GPS tracker told police if you violated this.

If you did, you had an $8000 fine coming your way.
6/ Fevers were another big point.

Here, we are only now starting to check temperatures and that too largely only in hospital settings.

In China, your temperature was checked in buses, subways, restaurants-- basically multiple times per day, every day, everywhere.
If you had a fever, you were sent to a fever clinic (separate from normal hospitals).

You had your temperature checked again, & were put in a CT scanner.

If your scan was negative, you were sent home.

If positive, you were tested for #Covid19 & waited for results.
8/ Masks were a whole different ball game as well.

Everyone wore masks. Part of this was to prevent transmission.

But part of it was also to reduce stigma against the sick.

If only the sick wear masks, they may be hesitant.

But if everyone does, then no one is missed.
9/ The public engagement, especially in China, was remarkable as well.

It was truly a “all hands on deck” effort.

The government literally started a “Fight On, Wuhan! Fight On, China!” campaign.

40,000 workers were sent to Wuhan to help after it was put in lockdown.
10/ Lockdowns were also different. In China, this was done quickly and completely.

Take Wuhan for example. The entire city was shutdown when there were only 500 cases and 17 deaths.

Here, things have moved much slower, and interstate travel continues despite many more cases.
11/ Ultimately, we are not China, South Korea, Singapore etc

We are where we are & who we are.

But this doesn't mean we can't do more, or move faster, both in the government and in the hospital.

And while we preserve our individual rights, we need to use them the right way.
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