West faces huge task to replicate China’s corona clampdown

The Chinese authorities’ aggressive efforts to stop the spread of the virus may well have saved lives, but such measures would be difficult to replicate in other countries

Susan Mitchell

Deputy Editor and Health Editor @susmitchellsbp
1st March, 2020
West faces huge task to replicate China’s corona clampdown
A Chinese man is examined with a so-called thermometer gun to test for the coronavirus. Picture: Getty

When public health doctors and epidemiologists start analysing the severity and fatality of an epidemic, one of the key things they examine is the “basic reproductive rate”, or the Ro.

This is the rate at which individual cases lead to new cases in a population that has never seen the disease before. Data for coronavirus, which is based on the epicentre in Wuhan, put it at between 2 and 2.5, according to the...

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